Amanda Knox Explainer: Trial Begins in Italy for the Third Time

The American student's court saga begins another chapter

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NBC, Peter Kramer / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Amanda Knox interviewed during an interview on NBC's Today show in New York City on Sept. 20, 2013

Amanda Knox, the American student accused of killing her roommate in Italy in 2007, went on trial Monday for the third time, marking the latest stage in the roller-coaster saga.

Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of killing Leeds University student Meredith Kercher in 2007, and she was sentenced to 26 years in prison. But that verdict was overturned two years ago, and Knox, now 26, returned to school at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The case returned to the spotlight in March, when the highest court in Italy overturned the decision and ruled that Knox and Sollecito must again stand trial. They aren’t required to be present for the trial, so Knox has stayed put in the U.S. even as the court potentially determines her fate.

Here’s a quick primer on some of your most pressing questions:

Wasn’t Knox acquitted already?
Yes, in October 2011 an Italian appellate court overturned the murder conviction and Knox was free to return to Seattle. In America, the “double jeopardy” clause of the Fifth Amendment protects a defendant from being tried again after a legitimate acquittal verdict, so the acquittal would be final. Under Italian law, the appellate court can issue an acquittal verdict that the prosecution can still appeal in Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation — it’s not so much the end of the trial as another step. The prosecution did appeal in this case, and in March the Supreme Court of Cassation overturned the appeal court’s decision, arguing that “too many questions remained unanswered” and sending the case back down to an appeal court. Whatever the decision in this trial, the Supreme Court of Cassation will again have to sign off on it.

Is there any new evidence in this trial?
Very little. On Monday, the court rejected most requests for new evidence and testimony, the Associated Press reports. But it did accept the prosecution’s request to hear testimony from convicted mafioso Luciano Aviello, who has accused his brother in the murder and is scheduled to appear before the court on Friday. The court also agreed to run a test on a trace of DNA from the alleged murder weapon, a kitchen knife, which was previously deemed too small a sample.

Will Knox be extradited to Italy if she’s convicted?
Even if Knox is convicted for good, Robert Anello, a New York City lawyer who has dealt with extraditions in the past, says there’s less than a 50% chance the American would be delivered to Italy. On paper, the U.S. does have an extradition treaty with Italy that requires the U.S. to hand over American citizens, if asked. But that’s a big if. And if the Italians were to make the request, they would face two potential hurdles, says Anello. First, the U.S. government could find legal arguments, including the previous acquittal verdict, to oppose extradition. Second, even if the U.S. agrees, Knox could try to block extradition in American courts, and “double jeopardy” could again come into play.

If convicted, will Knox lose the $4 million advance she was paid to write her memoir, Waiting to Be Heard?
The “Son of Sam” laws famously first appeared in New York state to prevent David Berkowitz, the New York City serial killer who called himself the “son of Sam,” from profiting from his crime by selling his story. The Supreme Court has since limited the scope of such laws, but many states, including Knox’s home state of Washington, facilitate the transfer of funds from a convicted criminal to a victim who has filed suit. So it’s possible that the British family of the victim, Kercher, would try to recuperate funds from Knox if she’s convicted. To be sure, the family could sue even if Knox isn’t convicted. But given the cross-border complications, among many others, don’t expect Knox to hand over her advance anytime soon, Anello says.

35 comments
harryrag
harryrag

Why would anyone believe anything Amanda Knox says? She gave three different alibis which all turned out to be false and repeatedly accused an innocent man of murder. The Italian Supreme Court confirmed Knox's conviction for slander. She is a convicted criminal and a proven liar.


If anybody wants to understand the reasons why Amanda Knox was convicted of murder, I recommend reading the translations of the official court documents and court testimony. They are available online at the Meredith Kercher wiki website:


http://themurderofmeredithkercher.com/Main_Page

sbrash007
sbrash007

WOW!!!  In all my time here on this planet, I have never seen such a convoluted scenario that is the "AMANDA KNOX CASE". I would just like to jump-in, feet wet, gear on and ready to show the world how ludicrous the Justices of the Supreme Court of Italy are and can just so simply spin anything and in anyway!!!  First, and obviously, every single country, (well, most of them), know and understand how the law works in Italy.  Secondly, the Supreme Court of Italy is only required to rule on PROCEDURE, not the EVIDENCE, of an appeal trial.  

So, let's get started.  (This is going to be FUN FUN FUN!!!)   

"The Supreme Court has stated that Hellmann's appeal court should have considered Rudy Guede's judgment and ensured his, (Helllmann's), decisions were consistent with that ruling".  This really sounds like I.E.: GUILTY!!!    ALL PARTIES!!!

The supreme court has based this on the following reasons:  1.RUDY DID NOT ACT ALONE!  (Did he tell them that?)  2. THE BREAK-IN WAS SIMULATED!  (Staged was probably the appropriate word but, proven otherwise by many crime scene investigators!)  3. GUEDE WAS NEVER CHARGED WITH BREAKING AND ENTERING NOR ROBBERY, HE THEREFORE WAS NOT INVOLVED!  (I am not making this up!!)  4. THE SUPREME COURT CONCLUDED THAT AMANDA MUST HAVE OPENED THE DOOR, AS SHE WAS THE ONLY OTHER PERSON WITH A KEY!  (Once again, this is what they said in their motivation report. I am not making this up!!!)  5.THERE "MIGHT OF OR COULD OF" BEEN A SEX ORGY GAME GONE WRONG!!  (I am not kidding!  They actually said this!!)  6. QUESTIONS OF THE DNA.  (We all know everything about that!)  7. THE WITNESS STATEMENTS!  (WOW, this is so tough, as they were all proven unreliable, lies, and utter fabrication!!!!)

All I can say is that I am extremely embarrassed that the Italians and there Judicial system is going to forever regretting the term: saving face!

BrianCorvello
BrianCorvello

Strange. The guilters believe the "legal experts" on sites like TJFM, who won't give their names...

But refuse to believe Robert Anello, the legal expert cited in this article, who will.

Honestly, people...

jpshelorm
jpshelorm

@TIME rediculous!! Glad i live in usa, double jepardy!!

TonyFisch
TonyFisch

@TIME @TIMEWorld Boehner and GOP radicals are traitors to the United States. This is not truer government, it's the people's

whatsbobgonnado
whatsbobgonnado

@TIME because italy is boring and needs to use our hot american woman to get people to pay attention to them

Mikzy
Mikzy

The beotch is guilty, and should be rotting in an Italian jail somewhere. She got off because she's pretty and has a baby-like innocence in her face. She's been convicted once and acquitted once, a third time will settle the score.

fatal
fatal

I guess I am not the only one who thinks she is guilty as sin--she is hiding behind the flag and the American press is all up in arms to protect her from the evil Italian court system-however someone savagely murdered her roommate and there is enough evidence to make her and her BF suspects-they don't even have a sturdy alibi-their alibi fell apart-they lied about it in the beginning so it fell apart and now they just really don't have an alibi-this is why the Italian court wants to look at it again-besides even if the US acted like they were going to extradite IF she was found guilty again-she would just run to Canada or change her name -it will never happen-so guilty or not she will be getting away with it-and she will get to play the victim and sell books about "her ordeal" in this country-whether any justice has been found-really doubt it

MendyHartsook
MendyHartsook

My heart goes out to the Knox family. After being acquitted, I don't quite understand why there is a new trial.

Italy has had a much bigger impact on Amanda than she could have ever imagined, I'm sure.

DonnIrving
DonnIrving

A third trial? An international waste of time. Justice was already meted out. Now leave Amanda alone.

CorradoMassa
CorradoMassa

@harryrag  Amanda never lied. This is a fact. The infamous interrogation in the night of  5 - 6 November was illegal: no lawyer present, why?  Twelve detectives around her and pressing her with yells and threats, why? Two hours without interpreter and five hours with an interpreter who acted just like a prosecutor, why?  The interrogation was not recorded, why? She named Lumumba and not Guede, why? In her statement  she put herself - falsely - in the house of the crime, why?  She  retracted her "slander" few hours after. Why? The Police arrested Lumumba with no proof, with no investigation, why? Amanda is innocent definitely. 


If anybody wants to understand the reasons why all sensible people believe in Amanda's and Raffaele's innocence, I recommend reading the documented and unbiased website:


www.injusticeinperugia.com    

rispolius
rispolius

@sbrash007 

' the  Italians  and  there  judicial  system  is  going  to  forever  regretting '  ?????   Are  you  sure  you  are  capable  of  assessing  someone  else ' s  judicial  system  while  you  are  proving  unable  to  master  your  own  idiom  ?

Red_0ak
Red_0ak

@pataz1 @Stephnwi10 It is not DJ but even if it was DJ it would make no difference because DJ does not matter when dealing with extradition

CorradoMassa
CorradoMassa

@Atkinson13Carl @TIME @TIMEWorld  If  you have a proof, even only one proof, she is guilty, please reveal it; 

If you have a clue, even only one clue, she is guilty, please make it known.  

CorradoMassa
CorradoMassa

@Mikzy  , Amanda Knox is innocent and should live free and happy with her dear ones. She got off because in Oct 2011 judge Hellmann understood the foolishness of the charges against her.  

Aphugel
Aphugel

@Mikzy And you base this astonishing verdict on what, exactly? You would be willing to condemn someone to jail for life based on ................. please DO tell, we are all so interested in your well founded opinion!

CorradoMassa
CorradoMassa

@fatal  Sadly, you are not the only one who thinks she is guilty; thanks God, I am not the only one who thinks she is innocent.  You can't kill a person when  you don't have a weapon with you , and when you have no motive to commit the crime; furthermore, it has been proved " ad nauseam " that neither Amanda nor Raffaele were in via della Pergola when Mez was murdered. 

EveKendall1
EveKendall1

@fatal- ALL the evidence points to her NOT being there. The person who murdered Meredith is in prison. Rudy Guede's DNA was all over the crime scene and even more damning IN the victim. The POLICE lied, they lied to Amanda, they lied to the public and family. They have an alibi, they were at Raffael's apartment, the ONLY reason the police claim they don't have a alibi is because they didn't use fact based science and choose to go by a women's scream as a time of death. It's just ridiculous. There is absolutely NO evidence of them being a part of this murder. 

CorradoMassa
CorradoMassa

@MendyHartsook  yes, I agree. My country is paying back Amanda's  love for Italian people and culture in a horrible persecution she absolutely does not deserve. I'm so sorry for this fact. Thanks God many Italians support her.   

CorradoMassa
CorradoMassa

@rispolius @sbrash007  - " there judicial system " is clearly an irrelevant  missprint. Please let's come to the point: I am Italian and I assure you that Amanda-Raffaele's  trials (with the only exception of the Appeal trial conducted by judge Hellmann)  have been managed in a shameful way. Prosecutors did Illegal interrogations, abuse of power, perjury and slander. Detectives and policemen acted as pack-asses. The result ? Two innocent people tortured for years.  The honest part of Italy is indignant at this stupid injust incomprehensible persecution of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.  

CorradoMassa
CorradoMassa

@PHR @MendyHartsook  Mez was innocent, and also  Amanda and Raffaele are innocent, please don't forget this. Meredith family suffers, and also Amanda's and Raffaele's families are in trouble. An unjust trouble. There are many culprits in Meredith murder: indirectly, Perugia's attorney's office and directly Rudy Guede. Amanda and Raffaele are the only people not connected with Meredith's death. Padoxically, they, theirself  suffer a lot of troubles. But there is a design of the Providence, here: Remember the words of Amanda: " le lacrime del colpevole purificano il colpevole, e le lacrime dell' innocente innalzano la sua anima e purificano il mondo " . Translation:   "'The tears of the guilty purify the guilty, but the tears of the innocent grow the soul and purify the world "