Hillary Clinton has been drawn into the battle to overturn Amanda Knox’s conviction.
Amid a growing U.S. backlash against the verdict, the American Secretary of State has agreed to meet a senator from 22-year-old Knox’s home state of Washington.
On Friday night, Knox was found guilty of the drug-fuelled sex murder of British student Meredith Kercher and jailed for 26 years.
Her conviction, alongside her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, came in tense late-night scenes in the Italian town of Perugia at the end of a year-long trial. Sollecito, 25, was jailed for 25 years.
Last night, Miss Kercher’s family told of their anguish for the first time since her killer was jailed.
Her mother Arline, 64, said the entire family had been given a ‘life sentence’ and were ‘living in a nightmare’ for the two years since she was slain.
She also revealed how they keep the 21-year-old’s bedroom exactly as it was when she left in the vain hope she will one day come home.
Miss Kercher’s semi-naked body was found in November 2007 in a pool of blood in the bedroom of the home she and Knox shared in Perugia.
The court heard that Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was subjected to a terrifying ordeal when she returned to her Italian home after an evening with friends.
Knox, Sollecito and another man, drifter Rudy Guede, attempted to involve the Leeds University student in a sex game, cutting her throat when she refused and leaving her to die in ‘slow agony’. Guede, 22, was convicted of murder and sexual assault last year and jailed for 30 years.
After the verdicts, Knox’s furious father Curt Knox vowed to fight to clear his daughter’s name and spoke of his ‘anger and disbelief’ at the Italian justice system.
His campaign seems to be gaining support on Capitol Hill. Senator Maria Cantwell, from Washington state, declared there were ‘serious questions about the Italian justice system’.
She said she was concerned there had been an ‘anti-American’ feeling at the trial and said she would be raising her concerns with Mrs Clinton.
‘The prosecution did not present enough evidence for an impartial jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Miss Knox was guilty,’ she said. ‘Italian jurors were allowed to view highly negative news coverage about Miss Knox.’
She said Knox, who called herself Foxy Knoxy on a web page, had been a victim of ‘harsh treatment’ and branded handling of evidence ‘negligent’.