The Court of Cessation (highest court In Italy) will decide the fleeting fate of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for the alleged murder of Meredith Kercher on Friday. The judges will decide on whether to uphold their convictions or remand the cases back for new trials, or simply vacate the convictions and end the matter. The two were convicted in 2009 for killing Kercher (21), who was found stabbed in the villa rented by them in the town of Perugia. The convictions were overturned in 2011 by a lower appellate court, then reinstated by an intermediary appellate court, and now the Court of Cessation is about to decide what to do with the case. She faces 28 ½ years in prison. Knox has returned to Seattle where she remains today. In the event the Court reinstates/affirms her conviction, prosecutors will likely attempt to have the United States honor the extradition treaty between the two countries. Whether the U.S. would comply is not clear. The bilateral treaty between Italy and the U.S. provides for extradition when a person is facing a sentence of more than one year for the crime they are convicted of in both countries. Murder in the U.S. and Italy provides for a sentence greater than a year. However, courts in the U.S. have the authority to conclude that Knox was convicted in a foreign trial where her fundamental rights have been violated. It seems that if the case had been tried in the U.S. and the same careless and fundamental errors (some seemingly intentional) were made, the courts would vacate and dismiss the conviction. This would invalidate the legal basis for extradition. Moreover, her lawyers could appeal to the European courts (ECHR) based upon a human rights violation claim. Further, given the occasional “diplomatic tensions” between the countries, either could simply deny an extradition request without much explanation; such a reaction would not be unprecedented. In the event of a conviction, Knox will likely not be forced to go to Italy.
COMMENT: The case against Knox has been riddled with incompetent investigative efforts, and the scientific evidence supports the position that she was not even in the room where the crime was committed. Much of the evidence obtained against Knox was obtained either through internationally discredited methods or inept scientific procedures- particularly where DNA was involved. Her conviction was a joke. Under no circumstances, should she be returned to Italy.
UPDATE: The murder convictions for Amanda Knox and her co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, were overturned by the high court moments ago. This means the cases are over for both defendants. Extradition is no longer an issue.