Amanda Knox to be freed: "poor black guy" takes the fall?
Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, have been cleared of guilt in the 2007 murder and sexual assault of British student Meredith Kercher. After an emotional 11-month trial in Perugia, Italy, Knox will be freed and returning to Seattle on Tuesday.
British media and advocates of Kercher's family has been critical of Knox and the "large PR machine" to support the American student's innocence. While many Americans celebrate the verdict, however, a few have voiced surprise about the fact that Knox and Sollecito get to walk free, while Rudy Guede, the Ivorian-born drifter who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for his role in the murder, will remain in behind bars, having exhausted his appeals.
Guede was convicted on strong DNA evidence including a bloody hand print on a pillow at the crime scene. A troubled youth who dabbled in drugs and dropped in and out of school, Guede was found guilty of murder in 2008 after judges found his story to be improbable.
However, Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini also charged that Knox tried to pin the murder on Guede, who was accused of murdering Kercher while Sollecito pinned her down.
"You wanted to make a pact of steel and blame it all on the black guy," he said. "[Knox and Sollecito] covered their tracks well. The poor black guy will pay for everyone."
On Twitter, people expressed dismay that Guede would remain in jail:
"The moral of the Amanda Knox story is that white women get the benefit of the doubt and black men don't," tweeted @Catf1sh.
"Amanda Knox is freed. A less wealthy black man made exactly the same appeals to the court for a re-trial is ignored," wrote @LastDanceLondon.
"I can't believe they released Amanda Knox. It's always the same. The black guy stays in prison while the two rich white kids get to go home," tweeted @MarkONeill.
At the time, Knox tried to blame the murder on a Congolese barman, Patrick 'Diya' Lumumba, who was later found to have a rock-solid alibi and presumed innocent. He is seeking compensation after negative publicity over the Kercher murder forced him to shut down his pub.