As you’ve prob­a­bly heard if you’ve seen the news with­in the last few hours, an Ital­ian appeals court has over­turned the mur­der con­vic­tion of Wash­ing­ton State native Aman­da Knox, who along with Raf­faele Sol­lecito, was found guilty by an Ital­ian court of killing British exchange stu­dent Mered­ith Kercher in Decem­ber 2009.

The appeals court threw out both con­vic­tions and ordered both Knox and Sol­lecito freed from prison. Accord­ing to news reports, Knox has already col­lect­ed her belong­ings and is now with her fam­i­ly. Lawyers for the fam­i­ly have indi­cat­ed that they will be depart­ing Italy tomor­row for the Unit­ed States.

The media fren­zy sur­round­ing the acquit­tal appears to be just get­ting start­ed. The sto­ry is already a hot­ly-dis­cussed top­ic on social net­works and cable tele­vi­sion chan­nels. It will like­ly dom­i­nate tra­di­tion­al news broad­casts tonight and the front pages of major news­pa­pers tomor­row morning.

The appeals court did uphold a low­er court’s con­vic­tion of Knox for defama­tion, but because she has already served four years in prison, the court ruled she was to go free. (The sen­tence for defama­tion would have been three years).

The White House has not issued a state­ment in response to the news (nor is it like­ly to), though Press Sec­re­tary Jay Car­ney may get asked about it tomor­row dur­ing his Tues­day press brief­ing. How­ev­er, Sen­a­tor Maria Cantwell has weighed in.

“I am glad that the appeals court gave Aman­da the fair hear­ing that she deserves. All coun­tries must live up to their inter­na­tion­al com­mit­ments to pro­vide a fair tri­al by an impar­tial tri­bunal to those accused of crimes,” Cantwell said.

“Amanda’s par­ents, fam­i­ly and friends have been through an incred­i­ble ordeal. We are all thank­ful that she will be free to return to Seat­tle as soon as possible.”

The Guardian has a fair­ly in-depth sto­ry about what’s ahead for Aman­da. She cer­tain­ly won’t be able to return to the life she had before.

But at least she won’t be locked up overseas.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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