By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – American student Amanda Knox, who was convicted by an Italian court for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher, was acquitted today by an appeals court.

Her murder conviction in the 2007 slaying of her roommate Meredith Kercher was thrown out by the jury, and she was ordered immediately released from prison after nearly four years of detention.

Knox collapsed in tears after the verdict was read out Monday.

One of the American student’s attorneys is from Philadelphia.

Theodore Simon (top photo), an attorney in private practice, says he took on the case after receiving a call from Knox’s parents.

127907634 getty knox Philadelphia Based Attorney For Amanda Knox Reacts To Her Acquittal

(Amanda Knox is escorted to her appeal hearing today in Perugia, Italy. Credit: Oli Scarff/ Getty Images)

He says there are some important differences between the Italian and American systems of justice.

“In Italy, unlike the United States, the appellate court has the ability to not only review errors of law but they have the opportunity and the option to reopen the case reevaluate the evidence and redetermine the facts,” Simon tells KYW Newsradio.

And he says that is exactly what happened in this case.

“I know it was a horrible, violent, bloody murder,” Simon told KYW Newsradio today, “yet there was no physical evidence of Amanda Knox in the room or on the person of Meredith Kercher. And this is compelling — there was no hair, fiber, footprint, shoeprint, palm print, fingerprint, handprint.”

Simon offers his reaction after the long awaited verdict.

“We are extremely appreciative, thankful and grateful that this appellete jury partcularly Judge Helman rendered what we believed was the correct and clearly a courageous verdict. This decision unmistakenly announces to the world that Amanda Knox was wrongfully convcited and that she absolutely was not responsible for the tragic loss of meredith kercher.”

As for when Knox gets out of jail.

“The judge ordered her immediate release.”

And as far as his own personal feelings on being an attorney, not only today but every day, Simon offered this observation.

“It’s not just cases like this. Lawyers who are criminal defense lawyers are actually blessed with the opportunity to represent individuals. It’s a gift and it keeps on giving. It did today.”

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio 1060

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