Amanda Knox, 26, is awaiting the verdict in the third trial of the brutal murder of Meredith Kercher. Amanda Knox has been living in her hometown of Seattle after spending four years in prison before being acquitted and released. However, the Italian Court of Cassation overturned the verdict and opted to have the appellate court retry the case. Six jurors and two judges are expected to reach a verdict sometime Thursday evening.
Amanda Knox was a student at the University of Washington in Seattle attending a one-year study abroad course in Perugia, Italy. On November 1, 2007, Amanda Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher was found dead in the apartment that Kercher and Knox shared. Kercher had been stabbed more than 40 times and her throat slit open.
Amanda Knox, her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and Rudy Guede were all tried and convicted for the murder of Kercher. Amanda Knox’s original trial created media frenzy worldwide and Knox was thrust into the international spotlight. Amanda Knox’s callous and bizarre behavior when being questioned by police (including allegedly doing cartwheels and making a flippant comment about how Kercher must have suffered when stabbed) led many to believe she had taken part in the murder.
Italian authorities presented the theory that Amanda Knox, Sollecito and another man had murdered Kercher because she refused to participate in a sex game. The third man originally implicated in the murder turned out to have an airtight alibi. However, forensic evidence later tied Rudy Guede to the murder scene.
As the trial continued, tabloids ran stories calling Amanda Knox “Foxy Knoxy” and proclaimed her to be a cold-blooded, promiscuous murderer. Italian prosecutors were rumored to have leaked information to the press in order to help aid in creating negative public perception of Amanda Knox. Italian laws allowed for jury members to discuss the case with anyone while the trial was ongoing. Amanda Knox became a divisive issue worldwide with many coming to her defense and blaming the Italian authorities and courts for mishandling the case. Others used Knox’s strange behavior and salacious past as evidence that she was responsible for the crime.
In 2009,Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were both found guilty of murder and sentenced to 26 years in prison. Amanda Knox and Sollecito both maintained their innocence throughout the trial. In 2011, an Italian appellate court overturned the original ruling and Knox and Sollecito were released. Amanda Knox returned home to Washington state and signed a multi-million dollar book deal. However, Italy has no laws prohibiting double jeopardy and in 2013 prosecutors chose to retry Knox and Sollecito for murder again.
Meredith Kercher’s family has suffered greatly for the past seven years and the three trials have done little to appease them, as they believe Amanda Knox and Sollecito were both involved in their daughter’s death, lamenting that no one remembers Meredith Kercher, but both Knox and Sollecito have inked book deals and made fortunes from the murder and trial. A lawyer for the Kercher’s released a statement that noted, “They are tired of this long trial and they want justice.”
If Amanda Knox is found guilty, the big question is whether or not she will be extradited back to Italy to serve her sentence. Seattle-based extradition lawyer, Brian Zagaris said, ““The Senate considers whether a treaty country’s criminal justice is fair. She can try to make the unfairness argument in that case, but U.S. jurisprudence limits such arguments.”
This article will be updated as soon as the verdict is announced.