Italian Prosecutors Make Closing Arguments in Knox Murder Appeal

Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 11:41 am (UTC-5)
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Prosecutors are demanding an Italian court reject an appeal by American Amanda Knox against her murder conviction — saying the court must ignore the massive media coverage of the case.

During closing arguments Friday, the prosecution urged jurors to forget what it said was the pressure of an international press slanted in favor of the defendants, and put themselves in the place of victim Meredith Kercher's parents.

Amanda Knox has been in prison in Italy since 2007, when Kercher, her British housemate, was killed in the central Italian town of Perugia.

Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted in 2009 of sexually assaulting and killing Kercher in what prosecutors say was part of a drug-fueled sex game that turned violent.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison; Sollecito got 25 years. A third person, Rudy Guede, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

All three say they are innocent.

Knox's appeal is based on the findings of independent court-appointed experts who said the DNA evidence used to convict Knox was not reliable and was possibly contaminated by police.

Her lawyers will deliver closing arguments next week, and a verdict could come any time after that.