Amanda Knox has been sentenced to 26 years in an Italian prison for the killing of her roommate. But now Knox is appealing her conviction, and over the weekend, she won an important victory when a court ruled that DNA evidence used in the trial could be submitted for independent review.
On "The Early Show" CBS News correspondent Alan Pizzey reported it's the best news Knox has heard since she first walked into the Perugia courtroom to go on trial for murder almost two years ago.
A judge has ordered that key DNA evidence that was used to convict Knox and her former boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito will now be re-examined. Appeal judge Claudio Patrillo Hellman said the review was merited on the grounds of "reasonable doubt."
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Madison Paxton, Knox's friend, told CBS News, "She has so, so many emotions right now. … And she knows she's innocent and that's what keeps her strong."
Two important pieces of evidence are the knife that prosecutors said was used to kill Meredith Kercher and the victim's bra strap and the DNA found on them will be re-tested by experts from the University of Rome.
The judge ruled "if it is not possible to check the identity for the DNA, we will check on the reliability of the original tests."
Steve Moore, a former FBI agent, said, "The procedures were fatally flawed. The procedures put two innocent people in prison for three years."
But not everything is going in Knox's favor. The conviction and 16-year prison sentence of minor drug dealer Rudy Guede for the murder were upheld on appeal, and his trial concluded that Knox and Sollecito were party to the crime.
But on "The Early Show" Edda Mellas, Amanda Knox's mother, said the ruling has given her family some hope.
"It was a good ruling," she said. "We've been asking all along that independent people take a look at the DNA and now that's been granted."
As for her daughter's mental state during the proceedings, Mellas said she's "definitely feeling a little better."
However, Mellas said, the proceedings have also been difficult for Knox, especially when she gave a statement to the court.
"She's been wanting to (speak to the court) all along," Mellas said. "She just really hasn't had the courage. She's terrified of this whole process and it's, you know, it's scary for her to stand up in court, but she finally was able to say everything she wanted to say and it was a very heartfelt, emotional statement."
But will this new analysis and statement be enough to free her?
Click on the video below for more of Mellas' "Early Show" interview.
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