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Amanda Knox responds to new guilty verdict, 28-year prison sentence

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Amanda Knox was found guilty in an Italian court on Thursday for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Amanda Knox, who watched the guilty verdict and her sentence of 28 1/2 years in prison live on television from her Seattle hometown, said that she was "frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict," reported ABC News on Jan. 30, 2014. Amanda Knox’s former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years.

Amanda Knox’s complete statement after the guilty verdict emphasizes that the now 26-year-old Amanda Knox feels like a victim of the Italian justice system:

“First and foremost it must be recognized that there is no consolation for the Kercher family. Their grief over Meredith's terrible murder will follow them forever. They deserve respect and support.

I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict. Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system. The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, nothing has changed. There has always been a marked lack of evidence. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution.

This has gotten out of hand. Most troubling is that it was entirely preventable. I beseech those with the knowledge and authority to address and remediate the problems that worked to pervert the course of justice and waste the valuable resources of the system: overzealous and intransigent prosecution, prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation, unwillingness to admit mistake, reliance on unreliable testimony and evidence, character assassination, inconsistent and unfounded accusatory theory, and counterproductive and coercive interrogation techniques that produce false confessions and inaccurate statements.

Clearly a wrongful conviction is horrific for the wrongfully accused, but it is also terribly bad for the victim, their surviving family, and society.”

For the past six years, dating back to 2007, Amanda Knox has been living a nightmare since her roommate Meredith Kercher was murdered in the Italian apartment that she had shared with her while studying in Italy. In 2011, after four years in an Italian prison (during which Amanda Knox struggled with suicide), she was finally able to return home to Seattle because an appeals court had thrown out the initial murder conviction.

Thursday’s guilty verdict by two Italian judges and six jurors came after only six hours of deliberations. Amanda Knox’s lawyer Luciano Ghirga said after the verdict, "We have not lost our courage. We respect this judgment. We will appeal."

Amanda Knox, who has now a short haircut, has spent the past five days with a Guardian reporter and shared in an interview with him how the case of Meredith Kercher’s murder has affected her. With defeated eyes and having lost a lot of weight, Amanda Knox says, “I am a marked person.”

"I'm definitely not going back to Italy willingly. They'll have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don't deserve to be in. I will fight for my innocence," she told the Guardian.

Before Thursday’s verdict, Amanda Knox told the Guardian reporter that if found guilty, she would feel like a “train wreck.” While Amanda Knox expects that the Italian government will ask the United States government to extradite her to Italy, she hopes that her country will not abandon her -- and throw her to the wolves.

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