Local reaction to Amanda Knox verdict - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local reaction to Amanda Knox verdict

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On the University of Toledo campus, students who followed the Amanda Knox case say it's about time an Italian Appeals Court overturned the murder conviction.

"I'm actually not surprised because they didn't have enough evidence," says Laura Nguyen, a Junior at UT.

"I think it's very crazy that she was in there for so long for something that she didn't do," says Majah Foster who is visiting from Cleveland.  "I'm kind of excited. She's young.  I think she should get money for this, honestly."

"That's four years that she could've had a bachelor degree already.  That's four years of her life that she can't get back," says Shawntasiah Perry, a sophomore at UT.

Associate UT Law Professor Jelani Jefferson Exum specializes in comparing criminal justice systems in countries across the world.  She says the Knox case makes history because it was broadcast so widely.   

"The historic part is that it opens up Americans eyes to a completely different legal system and really puts them in the position of judging it," says Exum.

One difference between the American and Italian systems is the composition of the jury.  A mixed jury decided Knox's fate: six members of the public and two judges.

"The judges are there to guide your lay jurors so that they understand the law," says Exum.  "This is something we don't have in the United States where we just trust our jurors to apply the law."

Also, not everyone on the jury has to agree.

"It just has to be a majority.  It's not a unanimous decision that is needed in Italy's system," says Exum.  "All of the jurors have equal weight."

Exum's advice for Knox is to waste no time getting home to the U.S. 

"Get out of Italy as quickly as possible," says Exum.

She says that way if the prosecution files an appeal, it becomes a diplomatic and political fight.

"Then Italy would be in a position of trying to extradite Knox from the United States and then that would be really more of a diplomatic matter," says Exum.

Knox is expected to board a commercial flight back to the U.S. Tuesday.  She is from Seattle.


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