We Have To Stop Putting Amanda Knox On Trial

I love procedural crime shows. And from the sheer amount that television has churned out in the last couple of decades, it's evident that America loves procedural crime shows, too. They give viewers what we don't get in real life: full closure in one hour, with all loose ends tied up by the time the evening news starts. TV is omniscient, while an individual concept of reality is not. Law & Order can show a flashback to the murder of the week so we know what really happened, but we'll never be afforded that access to real-life cases. We'll never know, for instance, the exact sequence of events leading up to the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy in November 2007. People may forever speculate whether or not Amanda Knox is guilty of the murder, despite Knox's exoneration in 2015, without ever knowing the answer for sure.

Yet while it's natural that we all have our opinions on the case considering how much press coverage it's received over the years, whether Knox is guilty or innocent isn't relevant — because after a period of several years, the Italian justice system concluded that she could not stand convicted of that crime. Knox was exonerated, free of the murder charges, and that means the world must allow her to move on from the case.

Knox was only 20 when she was arrested and then charged in the sexual assault and murder of Kercher. She is 29 now, living in her home city of Seattle and writing columns for The West Seattle Herald. Recent pieces she's written have delved into Knox's opinion on the thin line between personal and professional writing, the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire, and an episode of Doctor Who that she felt spoke to some of her experiences as a exoneree. Knox is also involved with advocacy for the wrongfully accused. She attends conferences on the topic and frequently highlights cases of questionable guilt on her Twitter account.

Knox spent four years of her 20s in prison. And then she spent another two in limbo as a higher Italian court re-tried her and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for Kercher's assault and murder. Her final acquittal only came through in 2015. Knox hasn't had long to adjust to life without the fear of the charges resurfacing. So far, she seems to be quite open about her experience. She writes about the challenges she's facing, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She is using her celebrity to raise awareness of other individuals in similar situations. But there's a difference between turning negative experiences into positive actions and living in the past. It's my hope for Knox that she's not forced to exist within this box for the rest of her life.


Knox participated in the new Netflix documentary Amanda Knox , which premieres Sept. 30. She gives her account of finding the body, of her trial, and of being in prison on camera. It feels like Knox is closing a door on the past in this documentary, and that's her right. It's human nature to want the absolute truth. But the case has been tried and decided. Whether you believe in Knox's innocence or not, the law determined that she is not guilty of this murder. No amount of amateur sleuthing or trading of theories will change that. So it's time to let Knox leave that past behind.