The 24-year-old sits quiet and still during closing arguments in appeal of her 2009 murder conviction

By Tim Nudd
September 29, 2011 08:00 AM
PA Photos/Landov

A lawyer for Amanda Knox on Thursday painted a picture of a failed justice system and a media onslaught that poisoned his client’s image, as closing arguments were heard in Perugia, Italy, in the appeal of the Seattle student’s 2009 conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

“We are fighting this battle with the same firm belief we have had from the start, and that is Amanda’s innocence,” Carlo Dalla Vedova told the court, as Knox, 24, sat quiet and still, staring down at the desk in front of her.

“We shouldn’t be scared of admitting a mistake,” he said. “Mistakes happen.”

Vedova added: “I ask you: Who has been the subject of attacks by the media on the most intimate aspects of her life? Who has had her sexuality, her medical history placed under a magnifying lens? Amanda has been run down by a media tsunami.”

Knox is one of three people convicted of the 2007 murder of Kercher, 21, a British student who was Knox’s roommate in Perugia. A decision on the appeal from two judges and six jurors is expected by Monday. Prosecutors have acknowledged there is a good chance Knox, who was sentenced to 26 years in prison, could go free due to problems with DNA evidence.

Earlier this week, Knox was called a “witch of deception” by a lawyer for a man she once accused of committing the murder. “Amanda is … a satanic, diabolic she-devil,” that lawyer said.

The jury appeared captivated by the Knox lawyer’s closing arguments. On more than one occasion, the head judge nodded, something of a first. Knox herself is expected to give a statement Monday during closing arguments.

Knox is being supported in court by many family members, including her parents, her sister, her stepmother and stepfather, and several friends.

No members of the Kercher family are present, although they are expected for the verdict.