Amanda Knox today hugged a former Irish prisoner who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit, nearly eight years after her own conviction was overturned.
The 31-year-old American had an emotional impact as she attended the event with her fiancé Christopher Robinson and met former death row inmate Peter Pringle at the Modena conference.
Like Ms. Knox, convicted of murdering British student Meredith Kercher in 2007 and then released from the murder, Mr. Pringle was also arrested for murder before he announced his name.
Ms. Knox will speak tomorrow when she returns to Italy for the first time since she was released from prison in 2011.
Miss Kercher's family, however, described her return to the country as "inappropriate" and said her public appearance was "very painful for the family".
In an essay published online Wednesday, Knox said she "is polishing up the speech I'm about to give to a potentially hostile audience in Italy."
I know how you feel: Amanda Knox hugs the Irishman Peter Pringle, who himself was convicted of murder, at the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena today
The former US murder suspect (left) wipes his eyes at the Italian event on Friday, comforted by her boyfriend Christopher Robinson
Amanda Knox, who returned to Italy for the first time since the murder of British student Meredith Kercher and her boyfriend Christopher Robinson, was in Criminal Justice in Modena
31-year-old Knox will speak at the event on Saturday, seven and a half years after her own conviction for murder was lifted
Who is the former Irish prisoner Peter Pringle?
Peter Pringle was sentenced to death in 1980 by an Irish court.
He was unjustly convicted of the murder of two police officers during a bank robbery in Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon.
The murders were allegedly committed by a radical republican faction.
Mr Pringle had been involved in the IRA as a younger man, although he said he had left the group long before the murders in 1980.
Nevertheless, he and two others were later sentenced and sentenced to death later that year.
They were to be executed in June 1981, but their prison sentence was reduced to 40 years in prison.
More than a decade later, Mr. Pringle finally persuaded an Irish court to review his case, and he was released in 1995.
And in 2011 he married Sonia Jacobs – who had spent more than 10 years on death row in America.
The Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca told the Guardian: "All these aspirations and appearances are always made to attract attention.
"The murder is a tragic memory for the Kercher family, they have so terribly lost their daughter and sister. It is also an injustice for them, as they still do not know the full truth.
On Knox's speech at the event, he added: "It is not justified because their trial was not a classic case of" legal error. "The decisions varied: some judges decided in one direction and the other in the other direction. # 39;
Today, Knox seemed to focus on the conference and get their attention on the stage.
At various points, she leaned forward to speak with her partner, and the couple exchanged solemn glances.
Her appearance seemed to cause quite a stir when other attendees grabbed her as she left the event.
Others looked at her as she watched the conference.
Yesterday, Knox attended a cocktail party when she first came to Italy since she was released from prison in 2011.
The writer and activist shied away from the cameras as she ran aground in Milan and bowed her head as she left the airport. Her fiance Christopher Robinson and her mother joined her.
But the 31-year-old seemed to cheer up at a cocktail party on the eve of the opening of the Criminal Justice Festival at Law University in Modena, northern Italy.
Her arrival comes when she authored an essay on Medium about her return to the country and says she fled the country "in a high-speed hunt at the age of 24, paparazzi literally rammed the back of my stepfather's rental car."
Knox said earlier that she is "polishing up the speech I will be holding in front of a potentially hostile audience in Italy."
The lawyer of the Kercher family, Francesco Maresca, said, Knox & # 39; re-emergence in public was for the family & # 39; very painful & # 39;
Knox has been pursuing a career in broadcasting and campaigning since his release in 2011
Knox attracts attention as she leaves the conference after the first day of the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena
The conference is organized by a group of lawyers from Modena and the Italy Innocence Project who have invited Knox
In her auburn hair, the justice fighter, escorted by plainclothes officers, looked gloomy as she was flanked by expectant travelers and the press.
Knox, who has been pursuing a career in radio and television since his release from prison in 2011, wore dark gray checked trousers and a black T-shirt.
She combined the look with a cream blazer and a black leather backpack.
The former exchange student, who spent four years in the Italian prison after she was wrongfully convicted of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher, holds her passport in her hand.
When Knox spoke of her unlawful conviction in a paper published yesterday, she said before her trial that her innocence was a guarantee of her freedom.
Former US detainee Amanda Knox (pictured right) laughs as she attends a cocktail event on the eve of the inauguration of the Criminal Justice Festival at Law University in Modena, northern Italy. This is the first time she has been in the country since she was released from prison in 2011
Knox laughs at a cocktail event on the eve of the opening of the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena, Italy. It's in the contract when Knox landed earlier in Milan, where she has lowered her head
Amanda Knox on her life after her arrest, detention and possible release
Amanda Knox describes herself on her website as a journalist, speaker and author.
But the 31-year-old woman from Seattle, Washington lists one description before the other: "Exoneree."
The reference refers to the crucial moment of her life: her arrest and her possible acquittal for the cruel murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007 in Perugia, Italy.
Knox spent four years in an Italian prison for the murder. She was later evicted together with her Italian friend Raffaele Sollecito.
Knox, who was a 20-year exchange student at the time of the murder, returned to Italy for the first time since her acquittal on Thursday to speak at a conference on illegal convictions in Modena.
Since her release, Knox has written a book about her experiences – "Waiting for Hearing: A Memory" – that was the subject of a Netflix documentary film and was a public advocate for inmates who were illegally detained.
"Amanda is now working to shed light on the issues of false conviction, truth-finding, and public disgrace, inspiring people to empathy and perspective," says their website.
Knox is hosting a VICE / Facebook show titled "The Scarlet Letter Reports" on women's public defamation and a Sundance AMC podcast titled "The Truth About True Crime," which investigates infamous murders.
In a series of "The Scarlet Letter Reports," Knox talked about how her arrest and subsequent trial had an impact on her life.
"I'll never be anonymous," she said. "I think that's one thing that people do not think about often because most people become anonymous at some point. Not me.
"I can not paint with Tinder," Knox said. "I can not wear a T-shirt with a skull. I can not make a dark joke.
"I could not be sure that someone who befriends me would not do it to get at me," she said.
Knox said that the biggest challenge since her ordeal was to "find love".
"And the feeling that somebody loved me for me," she said.
Knox currently lives in Seattle, her hometown, where she attended the University of Washington with her fiancé Christopher Robinson, a novelist, and her two cats.
Knox said it was a struggle to leave the past behind because of the wild headlines caused by the murder and described in court as a drugged sex game that went awry.
The tabloids grabbed their nickname – "Foxy Knoxy & # 39; – who was earned on the football field – and gave him a sexual connotation that fit the narrative.
"What I had to do was juggle Amanda Knox in the tabloid and make Amanda Knox just her thing and live her life," she said.
Kercher's half-naked corpse was found on November 2, 2007 in a back room of the apartment that she and Knox had shared in Perugia.
The 21-year-old had been stabbed 47 times and had slit her throat. The police also found signs of sexual assault.
Rudy Guede, a drifter and drug dealer born in Ivory Coast, was eventually convicted of murder and served a 16-year sentence in an Italian prison.
Knox looked grim and lowered his head as she landed. But at the cocktail event in Modena, Italy, he seemed more relaxed
Amanda Knox arrived in Italy today for the first time since being released from prison in 2011
31-year-old Knox will be speaking at a conference for wrongfully convicted criminals this weekend, seven and a half years after she left Italy, when her own conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher was overturned
The writer and activist shied away from the cameras when she landed in Milan and bowed her head as she left the airport
Knox (left) was convicted of murdering her roommate, British exchange student Meredith Kercher (right), at her home in Perugia in 2007. She was later released from the murder
& # 39; I was wrong. The moment I was acquitted was just as crazy. I was preparing to grow old in prison. I forgot what it's like to walk on grass, "she wrote.
On Sunday, the 31-year-old went to Instagram to share her uneasiness in the days before the trip with a photo of herself holding her by the side of the Rattlesnake Bar in Washington state.
She wrote in the title: "3 days before I return to Italy for the first time since my release from prison. I felt frayed and made my own inspirational poster in the workplace. & # 39; Hold on! & # 39; Imagine, I am a kitten. & # 39;
Knox announced last month that it would be discussing "media litigation" at an Italy Innocence Project event in Modena on 14 and 15 June.
"I am honored to accept her invitation to speak with the Italians at this historic event and to return to Italy for the first time," she said.
To honestly talk about the surreal moments in her life, Knox wrote in the online essay that she was approached by a woman who apologized for having treated her as a conversation during her trial.
36-year-old novelist Christopher Robinson, who is engaged to Knox (back right), extended his arm towards the passing cameras as the couple touched down at the airport
Knox's fiancé Robinson, who offered Knox a lavish sci-fi display last November, wore colorful trousers and a trilby hat at the airport
Amanda Knox shared an Instagram post on Sunday evening revealing the anxiety she feels as she prepares to return to Italy for the first time since her release from prison eight years ago. In the caption of the photograph by Rattlesnake Ledge in Washington State, Knox wrote: "3 days before I return to Italy for the first time since my release from prison. I felt frayed and made my own inspirational poster in the workplace. & # 39; Hold on! & # 39; Imagine I am a kitten
The justice fighter, her chestnut hair puffed up, looked grim as she was flanked by expectant travelers at the airport. Knox, who has been pursuing a career in radio and television since his release from prison in 2011, wore dark gray checked trousers and a black T-shirt
Knox combined the look with a cream blazer and a black leather backpack when she was escorted by her fiancé at the airport
Knox leaves the airport through a side entrance on arrival at Linate airport in Milan
Knox was convicted of murder and sexual assault on her British roommate Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia in 2007 and detained, but eventually acquitted. He was acquitted and lives in the USA
Knox kept his head down and did not speak to waiting journalists at the airport today
Knox announced last month that she would be speaking at an Italy Innocence Project event in Modena on 14-15 June about "media trial". "I am honored that they are invited to speak to the Italians about this historic event and return to Italy for the first time," she said
The American, who is due to arrive in Italy today, spent nearly four years in an Italian prison after being convicted of murdering her roommate Kercher in 2007
The body of the 21-year-old British exchange student was found by the police in the apartment in Perugia, which she shared with Knox on 2 November 2007. Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested and later sentenced in 2009 for murder and sexual assault
She said she had hope for her case after the 2016 Netflix documentary.
"From all the surreal moments in my extremely surreal life came the moment that gives me the most hope right now, as I polish up the speech I'm going to give to a potentially hostile audience in Italy, as a result." the Netflix documentation.
A woman came to me crying after giving a lecture, and she said something that had been said to me on Twitter earlier. I wish I could say that there were thousands or even hundreds of people who tweeted it to me, but it was only a few dozen. Still, it shocked me when I heard this woman say it to my face.
She said: I am sorry. I'm sorry I treated you for entertainment. & # 39; & # 39;
Knox has always maintained her innocence, insisting she and Sollecito spent the evening together at Sollecito's home watching a movie, smoking marijuana, and being intimate
Knox was accompanied by friends and her fiancée as she prepared for the Modena conference
The corpse of 21-year-old British exchange student Meredith Kercher was found by the police in the Perugia apartment, which she shared with Knox on 2 November 2007.
Officials found that Kercher's throat had been cut and that she had been sexually assaulted.
Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested in 2009 and later convicted of murder and sexual assault.
The couple kept his innocence, insisting that they spent the evening together at Sollecito's home to watch a movie, smoke marijuana, and be intimate.
Earlier this year, Knox described her ordeal as follows: "I was interrogated without a lawyer for 53 hours in five days for five days, which I might have understood as well as a ten-year-old." In 2011, the Perugia Court of Appeal heard the two more serious charges free, although it confirmed a minor conviction from Knox
Knox returned to the US this year. In a flip-flop series of court decisions in her absence, her murder conviction was reintroduced and finally lifted in 2015
In der endgültigen Entscheidung führten die Richter Mängel in den Ermittlungen an und sagten, dass es an Beweisen mangele, um ihr Fehlverhalten zweifelsfrei zu beweisen, einschließlich eines Mangels an „biologischen Spuren“, die sie mit dem Verbrechen in Verbindung brachten
Zu Knox gesellte sich ihr zukünftiger Ehemann Christopher Robinson (im Hintergrund links mit Hut abgebildet)
Zu Beginn dieses Jahres beschrieb Knox ihre Tortur wie folgt: „Ich wurde fünf Tage lang 53 Stunden lang ohne Anwalt in einer Sprache verhört, die ich vielleicht so gut verstand wie eine Zehnjährige.
"Als ich der Polizei sagte, dass ich keine Ahnung hätte, wer Meredith getötet hat, wurde ich auf den Hinterkopf geschlagen und aufgefordert, mich zu erinnern."
„Ich habe diesen Leuten vertraut. Sie waren Erwachsene. Sie waren Behörden. Und sie haben mich angelogen. & # 39;
Im Jahr 2011 sprach das Berufungsgericht von Perugia die beiden schwerwiegenderen Anklagen frei, obwohl es eine geringfügige Verurteilung von Knox bestätigte.
Italiens oberstes Gericht bestätigte jedoch eine Verurteilung gegen Knox, weil er einen kongolesischen Barbesitzer fälschlicherweise beschuldigt hatte
Anfang dieses Jahres hat ein europäisches Gericht Frau Knox Schadensersatz in Höhe von 18.400 Euro zuerkannt, nachdem sie festgestellt hatte, dass die italienischen Behörden „ihre Menschenrechte verletzt“ hatten.
Sie ist jetzt mit dem Verlobten Christopher Robinson verlobt, einem Romancier, der Knox im November letzten Jahres eine aufwändige Ausstellung zum Thema Science-Fiction vorschlug
In diesem Jahr kehrte sie in die USA zurück.
In einer Flip-Flop-Serie von Gerichtsentscheidungen in ihrer Abwesenheit wurde ihre Mordverurteilung wiedereingeführt und 2015 schließlich wieder aufgehoben.
In der endgültigen Entscheidung führten die Richter Mängel in den Ermittlungen an und sagten, dass es an Beweisen mangele, um ihr Fehlverhalten zweifelsfrei zu beweisen, einschließlich eines Mangels an „biologischen Spuren“, die sie mit dem Verbrechen in Verbindung brachten.
Italiens oberstes Gericht bestätigte jedoch eine Verurteilung gegen Knox, weil er einen kongolesischen Barbesitzer fälschlicherweise beschuldigt hatte.
Rudy Hermann Guede, ein Ivorer, verbüßt eine 16-jährige Haftstrafe wegen Kerchers Mord.
Knox wird an diesem Wochenende in Modena auf einer Konferenz des Italy Innocence Project für zu Unrecht verurteilte Tatverdächtige sprechen. Der 31-Jährige ist im Jahr 2016 abgebildet
Es ist acht Jahre her, dass Knox Italien verlassen hat, nachdem ihre Verurteilung wegen Mordes an der britischen Studentin Meredith Kercher aufgehoben wurde. Sie ist im Alter von 21 Jahren während ihres Prozesses im Jahr 2008 abgebildet
Italian police are seen outside the house where Kercher's body was found in November 2007
Earlier this year a European court awarded Ms Knox €18,400 ($20,000, £16,350) in damages after finding that Italian authorities had 'violated her human rights'.
She is now engaged to fiancé Christopher Robinson, a novelist who proposed to Knox with an elaborate sci-fi-themed display last November.
During the proposal he took her into their front yard where he had staged a fake meteor, which contained a 'data crystal' describing their 'coalescence'.
They have been dating since February 2016 and Knox made the relationship public with a change in her Facebook status later that year.
The couple met after Knox – who became known as Foxy Knoxy during her ordeal – had reviewed Robinson's book, War of the Encyclopaedists, on her blog.
Knox and is engaged to novelist Christopher Robinson (above together). They have been dating since 2016, having met when Amanda reviewed his novel for a local magazine