After news came back from Italy that Amanda Knox had been convicted once again as guilty of murdering her English roommate Meredith Kercher while they were living in Perugia, Italy in 2007, she stated unequivocally that she will flee from the law if the United States attempts to extradite her to Italy.
Knox already spent four years in prison in Italy after being convicted originally of the murder, before an appeals court overturned the sentence. Now, however, the Italian Supreme Court requested that the case be retried and the Seattle native was again found guilty by an appeals court on Thursday. The sentence carried a 28 year, six month prison term.
In an emotional interview with “Good Morning America,” Amanda Knox spoke freely about how she felt when she learned the news of her conviction. While she had originally planned to wait until hearing the verdict from her lawyers, the now-26-year-old said she could not help herself and had found an online Italian website to watch the verdict live. When they found her guilty, Knox said that the news “hit [her] like a train” and that she had expected more from the Italian justice system that had found her innocent once before. She had to translate the news from Italian so that her family could understand what had happened.
Amanda Knox also quite willing mentioned how she would flee from the law should Italy try to extradite her to serve her prison sentence. They would have to take her back “kicking and screaming” because she would never willingly return to the Italian prison.
The Italian Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s former boyfriend who was a co-defendant on the trial, was also found guilty and given 25 years. Police located him near the Italian border and brought him to the police station around 1 A.M. to mark his passport and prevent him from leaving the country. While some have said that Sollecito was attempting to flee Italy himself, lawyers for the Italian say he was going to Treviso to visit his girlfriend.
Support for and against Knox is present nearly everywhere. Those who believe her and Sollecito to be innocent point to the already-convicted Rudy Guede, who was found to be guilty of Kercher’s murder in 2008 and was sentenced to 30 years, which he is still serving in Italy. A drug dealer and thief, Guede’s DNA evidence was all over the crime scene according to the court case, including damning finger and handprints in blood. Guede has confessed to the crime to his prison cell mate, though he now claims to be innocent.
Knox also confessed to the crime while in police care, but she later recanted, saying that she had been repeatedly beaten in prison as they extorted the confession from her without a lawyer present. Her lack of a flood of tears when the police informed her of her roommate’s murder was considered to be evidence in her trial.
Legal experts are unclear on if the US will force extradition of Knox. US law says that a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime, which could make this second conviction worthless in American eyes. However, others say that because she was convicted first, not found innocent, she may be given to Italy to serve her prison term. When it comes down to it, Amanda Knox will have to choose between fleeing the law and serving her time if the case is not overturned once again.
By Marisa Corley