When Amanda Knox was set free on Monday, exonerated of murdering her roommate, Meredith Kercher, she must have walked out of that Italian courtroom in disbelief. For four years she had been vilified and dehumanized, accused, and then imprisoned for a crime she did not commit. If she lost her appeal she was looking at an even longer sentence than the one she initially received. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like for her, knowing that if she lost she would be spending the rest of her life in prison.
I watched her final plea before the jury yesterday morning. It came from her soul. You could feel it, and I guess the jury did too.
The Amanda Knox story makes me think of all the people who are wrongfully accused, whether in a court of law, the court of public opinion, or even in the quiet of our own minds. It is one of the more tragic aspects of the human condition that we so often feel the need to condemn and ultimately to destroy others as a means to our own validation. Undoubtedly, some people are up to no good, and we may at times need to be on our guard, but we must temper that with the understanding that as humans we are not omniscient, and we can be very, very wrong in our evaluation of others.
Twenty four year old Amanda Knox was wrongly accused and condemned, and yet with overwhelming odds against her, she fought back, and won. Truth triumphed in Perugia, when it so easily could have gone the other way. In a world where, too often, the truth is denied, goodness is brushed aside and evil is rewarded, the Knox victory is a victory for us all.