Feature

Amanda Knox takes the stand

A young Seattle woman prepares to defend herself in an infamous Italian murder case

Amanda Knox is taking a big risk, said Andrea Vogt in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The former exchange student from Seattle is taking the stand in an Italian courtroom on Friday to defend herself against charges that she helped murder her British housemate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007. Knox's "sometimes quirky ways" have fueled the suspicions of an engrossed Italian public—but showing her "genuine, unscripted personality" might help counter "the unflattering portrayal of her by prosecutors and media reports."

What Amanda Knox says "may not be as important as how she says it," said Barbie Nadeau in Newsweek. For five months, the 21-year-old former honors student has "heard witnesses describe her hygiene, sexual habits," and how she inappropriately did cartwheels in the police station when she was brought in for questioning. This is her chance to explain everything—including why her DNA was found on the handle of a knife with Kercher's DNA on the blade—but she has to do it in a way that makes the jury believe her.

Any "fair-minded jury" would throw this case out, said Timothy Egan in The New York Times. The DNA evidence against Amanda Knox is sketchy, and the man already convicted in the case—Rudy Guede—only implicated Knox and her boyfriend when he changed his story months after the crime. The prosecutor's theory—that Knox and her boyfriend were "thrill-seekers who killed a woman in a drug-fueled orgy"—is "preposterous."

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