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Amanda Knox vows to fight on as Italian judges order retrial in murder case

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:36 AM
  • 65 Replies

On the heels of an Italian court's decision for a retrial, watch an Anderson Cooper special report on Amanda Knox's life, her murder trial, her appeal and the prosecution's continued effort to overturn that decision. "Murder Abroad: The Amanda Knox Story" airs at 10 p.m. ET Friday on CNN.

Rome (CNN) -- American Amanda Knox vowed Tuesday to fight with her head "held high" to prove her innocence after Italian Supreme Court judges ruled Tuesday she should stand trial again for the death of her former roommate in Italy.

Knox spent four years in prison before an appellate court overturned her murder conviction, citing lack of evidence against her in the 2007 death of Meredith Kercher in Perugia.

Knox, who returned to the United States in 2011 and has been living in Seattle, was not in court for Tuesday's ruling.

The Supreme Court judges in Rome also ordered that her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who as acquitted with her, face a new trial over Kercher's death.

Knox said it had been "painful" to hear the news that the court had ordered a retrial, in a statement issued through the family's PR spokesman, David Marriott.

Timeline: Meredith Kercher murder case

The prosecution's case against her "has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair," she said, and an "objective investigation" and "capable prosecution" are needed if any questions remain about her innocence.

"The prosecution responsible for the many discrepancies in their work must be made to answer for them, for Raffaele's sake, my sake, and most especially for the sake of Meredith's family. Our hearts go out to them," she said.

"No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity."

'Psychological impact'

Knox's attorney, Carlo Dalla Vedova, earlier told CNN that Knox was "upset and surprised because we thought that the case was over."

But, he added, "at the same time, as she's done in the last five years, she's ready to continue and we are ready to fight."

Dalla Vedova said he did not expect his client to leave Seattle for Italy "for many reasons," although she is free to travel.

"She's a very young girl and she's looking to have her life," he said. "This has a psychological impact on her."

Prosecutors have argued that despite the appellate decision, they still believe Knox and Sollecito are responsible for the death.

A lawyer for Kercher, Francesco Maresca, said the British girl's family was satisfied with Tuesday's ruling.

The Kercher family had wanted a retrial because they believed the ruling that acquitted Knox and Sollecito was "superficial and unbalanced," he said.

The Kercher family believes more than one person was in the room when Meredith, 21, was killed, he said.

Another man, Ivorian drifter Rudy Guede, was convicted separately of Kercher's killing. Guede admitted having sexual relations with Kercher but denied killing her.

Judge Saverio Chieffi told the court he would publish the reasoning behind his decision within 90 days, after which the parties would have 45 days to present their case. The retrial is not expected until sometime early next year.

Knox may be ordered to return to Italy for the retrial, to be heard in an appellate court in Florence.

If she refuses, the Italian government could appeal to the U.S. government for her extradition.

But even if it does, Knox still not might end up before an Italian court.

Double jeopardy?

U.S. officials might reject such a request because it violates the U.S. legal principle that a criminal defendant can't be tried twice on the same allegation, said Joey Jackson, a contributor for HLN's "In Session."

Italy lacks the absolute prohibition present in U.S. law preventing authorities from retrying a criminal defendant who has been acquitted of a charge.

"We have principles that are well-founded within our Constitution, one of which is double jeopardy," Jackson said. "So as a result of that, I think it would be highly objectionable for the United States to surrender someone to another country for which justice has already been administered and meted out. So I don't think or anticipate that that would happen."

Another lawyer for Knox, Luciano Ghirga, said Monday that her client was confident in the Italian legal system and hoped one day to return to Italy as a free woman.

The Supreme Court judges did not order her retrial Tuesday on a charge of defamation.

Knox's conviction for defaming Patrick Lumumba, a club owner whom she accused of killing Kercher, was upheld in October 2011 by the same appeals court that cleared her of murder.

2011: Amanda Knox judge explains murder acquittal

The case began in 2007, after Knox moved to Perugia to study at the University for Foreigners of Perugia for one year

Knox, then 20, shared a room with British student Kercher.

That November, Kercher's semi-naked body was found at the home, with her throat slashed.

Police arrested Knox and Sollecito, who was her boyfriend at the time.

2011: Was Italy fair to Amanda Knox?

Two years later, they were convicted of murder, but they were cleared when they appealed the verdicts in 2011.

'Lack of evidence'

In legal paperwork published in December 2011, the judge in the case wrote that the jury had cleared the pair of murder for lack of evidence proving they were guilty.

Knox's family said last year the appeal was unwelcome, but no cause for concern.

"The appeal of Amanda's acquittal by the prosecution was not unexpected as they had indicated from the day of the verdict that they would appeal," a family statement in February 2012 said.

2011: Knox makes emotional return to Seattle

Knox has spent the last year and a half trying to resume a normal life, studying at the University of Washington in Seattle, her hometown.

She has written a book on her ordeal, titled "Waiting to be Heard," which will be published next month.

Francesco Sollecito, father of Raffaele, told CNN in a phone interview last year that the family was "not happy about the decision (to appeal). My son is trying to get back to normal life."

"We can do very little in this situation," he said, but as Italian citizens, they would have to accept the court's decision.

"We hope that the high court will finally put the words 'the end' to this story."

Read: Ex-boyfriend's memoir gives new perspective on Amanda Knox story


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Should the US extradict Amanda back to Italy for the new trial or should the US block the extradiction on the grounds that a retrial would violate her Constitutional rights here in the US?  

by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:36 AM
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Replies (1-10):
kaylasmom22
by on Mar. 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM
I feel so bad for her.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
meriana
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM

I would certainly hope the U.S. would block any extradition. She was, after all, acquitted

DropZoneMom
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:38 AM
3 moms liked this

NO -- she wasn't acquitted.   She was CONVICTED -- and her conviction was overturned by the appellate court.   If the same situation occurred in the United States court system, she would be retried, too.

If the United States has an extradition agreement with Italy, it needs to be followed.


Quoting meriana:

I would certainly hope the U.S. would block any extradition. She was, after all, acquitted



Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM
1 mom liked this

There doesn't seem to be precedent for it.

Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM
I agree,

My feeling is that the UK, will also push for extradition in this case. Politically, I feel the US won't put of much of a fight against extradition.


Quoting DropZoneMom:

NO -- she wasn't acquitted.   She was CONVICTED -- and her conviction was overturned by the appellate court.   If the same situation occurred in the United States court system, she would be retried, too.

If the United States has an extradition agreement with Italy, it needs to be followed.



Quoting meriana:

I would certainly hope the U.S. would block any extradition. She was, after all, acquitted





Posted on CafeMom Mobile
diospira
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 11:55 AM



Quoting DropZoneMom:

NO -- she wasn't acquitted.   She was CONVICTED -- and her conviction was overturned by the appellate court.   If the same situation occurred in the United States court system, she would be retried, too.

If the United States has an extradition agreement with Italy, it needs to be followed.


Quoting meriana:

I would certainly hope the U.S. would block any extradition. She was, after all, acquitted



This is a key point. She was convicted and the decision was overturned. 

I don´t know why so many give her a free pass and assume she is innocent  of any involvement just because she is an American with a pretty face.

I am not convinced she wasn´t involved and think we should let justice take its course.





Peace


rosaleeandtwo
by Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM

I read in another article that the court already violated their own rules by looking at evidence and not just court error when determining if her conviction should have been overturned so I don't think she will have a big issue. 

Aslen
by Silver Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 12:02 PM
1 mom liked this



Quoting meriana:

I would certainly hope the U.S. would block any extradition. She was, after all, acquitted


No, her conviction is overturned. And American laws don't apply to Italian Courts.


She is not required to be in court at the time of her retrial.

The stickier parts goes into extradition should she be sentenced to any prison time

sherry132
by Silver Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM

From everything I've read, the US won't send her back. The trial was a mess and it would be double jeapordy. 

Naturewoman4
by Platinum Member on Mar. 26, 2013 at 12:12 PM

I just heard about this as well.  So, like the op said, it isn't considered 'double jeopardy' because she was already convicted once?  I wonder if that is the law here in U.S. or just in Italy?  Her conviction was overturned on appeal of the scientific evidence.  From what I remember they did a sloppy job processing the evidence, dropping a piece of the evidence or a tool they used during processing. 

This will be interesting to see if the U.S. will block any extradition, since her conviction was thrown out.  In Italy their laws are certainly different than ours.  I wonder if the Courts in Italy have found any new evidence, therefore allowing for Knox to be retried?  I believe here in the U.S. in order to have a retrial there has to be new evidence.  But, I wonder if a person here is convicted, then on appeals it was thrown out, would it be double jeopardy? 

What's interesting too is that Knox & her then b/f were smoking pot at the time of the murder.  Were they both there while the murder was happening?  Knox was roommates with Kercher.  Rudy Guede has already been convicted & spending 16 yrs. in prison in a separate case.  His DNA was found all over the apt.  But, he says he had sex with her (rape) but didn't kill her.  So, I wondering if he was only convicted of rape?  The Italian Prosecutors said he could not of killed her all by himself. 

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