Amanda Knox said she is glad to have her life back after Italy’s highest court ended her long, high-profile legal saga Friday by overturning her murder conviction.
Knox, 27, and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 30, are cleared in the 2007 death of Knox’s British roommate, Meredith Kercher, the court ruled.
“Finished! It couldn’t be better than this,” Knox’s attorney, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said after the decision was read, the Associated Press reports.
The ruling means that the Court of Cassation’s judges concluded the evidence doesn’t support the original murder convictions, but the court’s reasoning will not be made public for another 90 days, AP reports.
Addressing reporters outsider her mother’s home in Seattle, Knox — who had been facing more than 28 years in prison — thanked supporters as she struggled to hold back tears, according to CNN.
“I am incredibly grateful for what has happened, for the justice I’ve received, for the support that I’ve had from everyone, from my family, from my friends, to strangers, to people like you,” she said. “You saved my life.”
“Right now I’m still absorbing what all of this means… What comes to mind is my gratitude for the life that’s been given to me,” she added.
The ruling ends a legal back-and-forth that stretched over years, with courts repeatedly reversing decisions.
Knox and Sollecito were were convicted in 2009 in Kercher’s death. The 21-year-old British student had been found dead in her apartment; her throat had been slashed and police said there were signs she had been sexually assaulted.
Knox was initially sentenced to serve 25 years in prison. But in 2011, an appeals court acquitted her and Sollecito and they were ordered freed. Knox returned to the United States.
Two years later, the country’s supreme court reversed those acquittals and an appeals court opened a third trial. The pair was re-convicted and sentenced to serve more than 20 years in prison each.
Friday’s ruling came because Knox and Sollecito appealed their convictions again.
Knox said in statement that she was “relieved and grateful.”
Knox’s family released a statement as well, according to CNN: “We want to express our profound gratitude to all of those who have supported Amanda and our family. Countless people — from world-renowned DNA experts to former FBI agents to everyday citizens committed to justice — have spoken about her innocence. We are thrilled with and grateful for today’s decision from the Supreme Court of Italy. And we are grateful beyond measure for all that so many of you have done for her.”
(This post has been updated)