Knox To Be Extradited? If Found Guilty Again, Former Exchange Student Amanda Knox Could Be Extradited, Imprisoned In Italy
By Staff Writer | March 27, 2013 10:08 AM EDT
Amanda Knox may be extradited due to Tuesday's ruling by the Italian Supreme Court that ordered a new trial for the former student.
The new Supreme Court order guarantees that Amanda Knox's trial will drag on for years to come.
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If Amanda Knox is found guilty and the verdict is upheld by Italy's Supreme Court, Knox may be extradited.
An extradition request would depend on whether being prosecuted again after being exonerated once already constitutes double jeopardy in the United States, according to Hollywood Gossip.
Double jeopardy, in general, outlaws being tried for the same crime twice.
Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 for the murder of their British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. Amanda Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito 25. In 2011, the verdict was thrown out by an appeals court that found numerous holes in the prosecution's case.
Knox and her family had hoped that the Supreme Court ruling would reinforce her innocence and end the very public trial.
Now, Amanda Knox faces years of legal hearings, starting with the case returning to trial early next year.
Knox has already spent four years in an Italian jail, so she doesn't plan on returning to Italy for the future hearings. This could put her lawyers and case at a disadvantage, since she won't be testifying on her own behalf or using Italy's right to 'spontaneous declarations,' in which the defendant can refuse to testify on the spot.
Regardless of the outcome, whichever side loses is likely to appeal again.
If Knox is re-convicted and the verdict is upheld by the Supreme Court, Italy would likely seek her extradition so she could be imprisoned.
A D.C.-based attorney said, "We've got a [extradition] treaty. The senate has decided that Italy is a country with which we ought to have a treaty. They wouldn't have ratified if they didn't think the Italian process was fair and due process was sufficient."
"She can try to fight extradition, but it will be an uphill battle," the attorney concluded.
If Knox is convicted, her best hope would be appealing the decision based on the violation of the double jeopardy clause of the U.S. constitution. Such an argument would, in theory, trump the extradition treaty with Italy and allow Knox to remain in the United States.
Sean Casey, a former prosecutor, explained that because of the 'double jeopardy' clause, extradition is unlikely. The extradition treaty between the U.S. and Italy states, "Extradition shall not be granted when the person sought has been convicted, acquitted or pardoned, or has served the sentence imposed, by the Requested Party for the same acts for which extradition is requested."
"Under U.S. Law, she was once put in jeopardy and later acquitted. Under the treaty, extradition should not be granted," Casey told CNN.
Regardless, the Amanda Knox trial will be playing out for a number of years.
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