Amanda Knox verdict puts US credibility on trial

Amanda Knox (L), the U.S. student convicted of murdering her British flatmate Meredith Kercher in Italy in November 2007, arrives at the court during her appeal trial session in Perugia September 30.
Amanda Knox was convicted, then acquitted, of the murder of her British flatmate, Meredith Kercher, in Italy in November 2007.
Credit: Reuters

Amanda Knox faces judgement day for the fourth time in six years Thursday, with a Florence court set to deliver its verdict on whether to uphold her conviction for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher. The American, 26, will hear the outcome remotely, having refused to attend the trial, and has vowed to become a “fugitive” rather than return to Italy if convicted.

Indications are not positive for Knox, but if the verdict goes against her, she has options beyond life as a runaway. Italy’s Supreme Court would have to sign off on the ruling before extradition proceedings could start, with no guarantee this would be pursued.

But should the case get that far, legal experts believe Knox would be in trouble.

“No standard appeal is available for an extradition,” Christopher L. Blakesley, professor of international law at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, told Metro. “Her defense might try to argue that the second trial and appeals violated double jeopardy. This would be problematic as the U.S. understood the nature of the Italian criminal justice system when it entered into the treaty, assuming that it met due process standards.”

Unless a clear flaw was shown in the Italian legal system, extradition proceedings could only stop at the State Department level, explained Julian Ku, international law specialist at Hofstra University, New York.

“It could become a political question as she has so much popular support. If the U.S. does not care about its extradition treaty with Italy, it might decide not to turn her over,” Ku said.

But that could be a costly decision in a sensitive climate, believes Ku.

“In general, the U.S. benefits from these treaties more than their partners, and the general policy is to cooperate where possible,” Ku said. “The [Edward] Snowden case could work against Knox – it just highlights that the U.S. needs these treaties, and it will be under pressure to comply.”

If the Florence court rules against Knox, she could pursue a similar route to the NSA whistleblower and seek asylum in a non-extraditable country. Even if it rules in her favor, there may still be a price to pay, as Kercher’s family could sue for the profits from her book.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.