Amanda Knox Trial: Italian Prosecutors To Appeal Her 2011 Release


It has been over a year since an Italian appeal court cleared Amanda Knox of her 2007 murder charges, but her legal battle is surprisingly not over yet.

On Monday in Rome, Italian prosecutors will fight Knox's release from prison and argue to have her murder conviction reinstated. The double jeopardy rule does not exist in Italy.

The battle began in December 2009 when Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. Although there is still no clear explanation of how Kercher was sexually assaulted and murdered, key pieces of evidence all but acquitted Knox months before her release.

Additionally, Rudy Guede was charged and found guilty of the exact same crime in 2008, with evidence and testimony showing he was at the scene the night of the murder, though this did not affect Knox and Sollecito's case.

Knox and Sollecito were cleared of the murder and released in October 2011, while Italian prosecutors — who called Knox a "she-devil" and a "diabolical witch" during her retrial — vowed to appeal the decision and put her back in prison.

While Knox was also sentenced to 3 years in prison for slander besides her acquittal, referencing her initial accusation of bar owner Patrick Lumumba for the murder, her 4 years of time served canceled out this ruling.

Kercher's parents, who understandably remain grief-stricken even after the 6 years following their daughter's death, will be present at the prosecutors' appeal to the Italian Supreme Court. It was their request that Knox's acquittal be appealed.

Interestingly, the judge could end up overturning Knox's slander conviction, which she appealed months after her release. Knox claimed that she only named Lumumba after 50 hours of interrogation, during which several officers that were known to be abusive shouted and hit her on the head. If this charge is overturned, she can seek compensation for false imprisonment.

If the judge does overturn the acquittals, however, then the murder case will be retried in Florence — not Perugia, where Knox, Sollecito, and Kercher were studying — and it is very unlikely that the U.S. will extradite Knox due to the double jeopardy rule.

After her release, Knox returned to her hometown of Seattle, Washington, where she has been taking classes and spending time with her family.

Monday's hearing will be over within hours, with a decision expected at night. Defendants will not be present, and no cameras or journalists will be allowed in the courtroom. While it is unlikely that Knox will be imprisoned once more for this crime, the Italian justice system's unpredictability and notorious fallibility are what sent her to prison in the first place.