Amanda Knox Verdict Expected Today, After Third Murder Trial For Knox And Raffaelle Sollecito
After four long months, Thursday is verdict day in Florence, Italy, for Amanda Knox and ex-boyfriend Raffaelle Sollecito. The two are awaiting the appeal's court decision after a retrial for the alleged murder of Knox's British roommate, Meredith Kercher, that took place at their flat in Perugia, Italy in 2007. Knox and Sollecito were acquitted on charges of murder back in 2011, but Italy’s highest court later threw out the verdict, saying that the trial was full of “deficiencies, contradictions, and illogical” conclusions. This has been the third murder trial of the case.
In closing arguments, Knox's lawyer reiterated that her client's innocence was "rock-solid." "The knowledge of Amanda's innocence is now rock-solid and it allows us to await the verdict with serenity," her lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said. "It is not possible to convict someone because they are considered 'probably' guilty."
Though the Italian Supreme Court in their May 2013 demand for retrial said the evidence was inconclusive, this retrial hasn't cast any light on the discrepancies in previous testimony. As CNN pointed out, when Knox was found guilty the first time in November 2007, Americans said the Italian justice system was corrupt. But when she was acquitted in 2011, Italians said that the court had caved in to American pressure.
Knox, now a University of Washington law student, has stayed away from the courtroom for this round of deliberations and won't be present today either. "I have plenty to fear because I was already in prison wrongfully, I was already convicted wrongfully, and this is everything to fear,” Knox said at the beginning of the trial, alluding to the four years of a 26-year sentence she served prior to acquittal. She has maintained her innocence since the beginning.
Sollecito has also plead his innocence, and unlike Knox, went back to Italy in November to speak to the court. "I would like to make you understand that these charges against me are absurd," he said. "There was not a basis to charge me, to put me in jail. ... I don't wish anybody on Earth to go through what I went through."
In any case, the verdict today might not be the end of the drama that's going on its seventh year. Under Italian law, either side can appeal the decision if they're unhappy with it. However, Knox isn't likely to be extradited to Italy to serve her time if found guilty: Although the U.S. has an extradition agreement with Italy, America has been known to simply not send over those found guilty in Italian courtrooms. Knox has said she'll become a fugitive if found guilty, but the U.S.'s double-jeopardy law, which exists in American law but not Italian, also protects Knox, according to CNN.
"Under U.S. law, she was once put in jeopardy and later acquitted," said Sean Casey, a former prosecutor. "Under the treaty, extradition should not be granted."