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Amanda Knox's Lawyer Tears Up in Court

This story was written by Allen Pizzey in Perugia

The final summation of Amanda Knox's defense was this: She was targeted as guilty from the moment the police took her in for questioning.

Her Perugia, Italy-based lawyer insisted that there was plenty of proof that Knox is innocent and none that she is guilty.

"Amanda," attorney Luciano Ghirga told the court, "has to be given her life back."

In the hours after she was taken in for questioning Knox had been "crushed by the system," he said.

The police, in his words, "acted like part of the prosecution," even though they were dealing with what he described as "a shocked, exhausted, emotionally destroyed, psychologically-abused girl."

At the time of her arrest Knox spoke minimal Italian.

Her defense team alleged that translators assigned to her in the police station were allowed to pick and choose what they thought was important rather than translating what Knox said verbatim.

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The claim that the victim British student Meredith Kercher died in a drug-fueled sex game was, the lawyer said, "born in the police station."

The closing arguments are the best chance the defense has to focus juror's minds on key pieces of evidence presented over months with long breaks between court sessions.

"In a U.S. trial, they're so compact, you go every day and in the end they do a fairly quick summation and you move on where all the evidence is laid out continuously and they get to hear it and they immediately go make decisions," said Knox's mother Edda Mellas. "Here in Italy, this has gone on for … nine months."

The jury was the primary target for the summation. There was, the lawyer told them, a rush to find a guilty party.

He also took issue with the way Knox had been described by the media and said she had been defamed at least 18 times during the course of the nearly year-long trial.

(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
At the end of it all Luciano Ghirga, seen at left, broke down, apparently overcome by the emotion of his final appeal for an acquittal on the charges of murder and sexual violence that carry a life sentence.

The whole event had pretty much the same effect on Knox's mother Mellas, who along with her younger daughter Deeana was in court to hear it.

The two judges and six-member jury will deliberate on the verdict together. Even if the jury decides Knox is innocent, under Italian law the judge can overrule them.

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