Double Jeopardy May Save Knox From Extradition

Italian cops stop co-accused near border
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2014 4:45 AM CST
Updated Jan 31, 2014 7:52 AM CST
Double Jeopardy May Save Knox From Extradition
A woman believed to be Amanda Knox is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from her mother's home to a car in Seattle yesterday.   (AP Photo)

Amanda Knox has once again been found guilty of the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, but will she be sent back to Italy to serve a 28-year sentence? Legal experts say any attempts to extradite the Seattle resident are unlikely to begin until the appeals process has finished, and since she was retried after being found innocent of the same offense, the American ban on "double jeopardy" convictions could help keep her out of an Italian prison.

  • If Italy does decide to extradite her, they will have to make a formal request to the State Department, where officials will consider it. But if they choose to reject the request, there could be diplomatic consequences, a lawyer specializing in extradition tells ABC. "The US often wants Italy to extradite all kinds of people, so if the US refuses to even process the case, especially a case involving violence, that could have some adverse consequences for bilateral relations," he says.

  • The American review of any extradition request could, however, be quite limited in scope and will focus mainly on paperwork, another expert tells the Seattle Times. "It’s not a retrial of the case, and it’s not a retrial of another country’s justice system."
  • Knox, who has said she won't return to Italy willingly, slammed the fresh guilty verdict and said it would not be a consolation to the Kercher family, CNN reports. "This has gotten out of hand. Most troubling is that it was entirely preventable," she said in a statement. "I beseech those with the knowledge and authority to address and remediate the problems that worked to pervert the course of justice and waste the valuable resources of the system," she said.
  • Knox's co-accused, ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, was also found guilty again and sentenced to 25 years. After the verdict, police found him at a hotel near Italy's borders with Slovenia and Austria, the AP reports. He was taken to a police station, where a stamp was put in his passport stating that he cannot leave the country.
(Read more double jeopardy stories.)

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