Amanda Knox: Life After Prison

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Amanda Knox was twenty years old, studying abroad in Italy, enjoying fleeting romance and experiencing a new culture. After all, she was on her own, halfway across the world from her friends and family, living a carefree life of anonymity. All this changed on November 1, 2007, when Amanda’s roommate Meredith Kercher was murdered. Amanda, her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, and a drifter named Rudy Guede were all charged as participants in the killing.

Amanda’s twenty years up until this point hadn’t come close to preparing her for police interrogations, investigations, and standing trial. She buckled under the pressure, giving false testimony about an innocent man and lying about the treatment she received from Italian police.

None of this helped her case- Knox was imprisoned in 2009 and spent two years in Italy before questionable evidence allowed her to be released in 2011. She immediately came back to the States and is living at home in Seattle with her parents.

(A timeline for case can be found here, via CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/28/world/europe/italy-amanda-knox-timeline/index.html)

Six years after the murder, the case is once again receiving international attention. Italian courts have called Knox and Sollecito to return to Italy for a retrial, claiming that new evidence has been found. This time, Amanda Knox refuses to go back. In an interview on NBC’s Today show, Knox said, “I was imprisoned as an innocent person. It’s common sense not to go back.”

Most women her age are getting married, starting careers, and even starting families, but Amanda Knox will never be able to enjoy the carefree life she had before 2007. Prison haunts her every day, and her desire to be a normal citizen will always be overshadowed by her blackened past.

On the Today Show, she even shared a moving letter she wrote to her potential unborn children. “There is no healing, but I like to think that I have mastered this art of survival. Survival by denying the temptation to die, by not letting myself die inside before my physical body gives out and the sentence is complete.” She concluded with the sad realization that her life can never be what she thought it would. “Now I have only to burn this letter and hope the words make it to the other place, the other time, the what-if-there-was-justice, when you would have existed.”

(Part of that interview can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/20/amanda-knox-today-show-everything-at-stake_n_3961620.html)

Whether or not we are confident in Amanda Knox’s innocence, there is one thing we know for sure: Her life will never be the same as it was before November 1, 2007. The unsolved murder hangs in her past, lurking behind every new development and turn. Her ex-boyfriend feels the same, as he is compelled by Italian law to return for the retrial. In an interview with ABC news, he said, “I cannot find a normal life…or something to focus on instead of thinking about the trial, about the documents, about what will happen at home, about how to pay the lawyers, about how to pay my bills.”

The Seattle Times published an article entitled “Amanda Knox on retrial: ‘everything is at stake'”. The way I see it, the stakes have already been set- her life is changed, the experience of living a murder trial and two years in prison will never leave her, and her reputation from a carefree semester in Italy now shapes her for the rest of her life.

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