In the latest development in a case spanning almost seven years, Amanda Knox was convicted of murder and sentenced to 28 years behind bars Thursday. Knox was sentenced by two judges and a jury in Florence, Italy for the 2007 killing of Knox' flatmate Meredith Kercher. This is the fourth verdict for Knox, and this one is even more severe than the 26-year "guilty" sentence Knox was handed in 2009. That verdict saw Knox spend four years behind bars, before her sentence was overturned by an appeals court last May. Knox' ex-boyfriend, ex-roommate and co-defendant, Raffaelle Sollecito, was also sentenced to serve 25 years Thursday.
Knox was in Seattle for the verdict, though Sollecito appeared in Italy's court Thursday. As Bustle reported earlier:
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.
Knox has maintained her innocence of the murder of Kercher, a British exchange student who was found stabbed to death in 2007 in the villa she rented with Knox in Perugia, Italy. Both Knox and Sollecito were convicted of Kercher's murder, and acquitted four years later after Italy's high court declared that the original trial had been filled with “deficiencies, contradictions, and illogical” conclusions.
A retrial was demanded, and two judges and six jurors deliberated for less than a day before finding Knox and Sollecito guilty once again.
As Bustle reported:
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.