Amanda Knox Conviction in Italy Could Spur Lengthy Extradition Fight

Photo Credit: REUTERS/ANDREW KELLYItaly’s conviction of Amanda Knox for the murder of her British roommate when the two were exchange students together could spur a drawn-out fight over extradition in the United States, where supporters contend she is the victim of a faulty foreign justice system.

If Knox’s conviction is ultimately confirmed pending further appeals, her lawyers are expected to argue that the United States cannot send her to Italy in part because of U.S. constitutional guarantees against “double jeopardy,” although some experts say that could be a tough case to prove.

Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty on Thursday for the second time in the 2007 stabbing death of Meredith Kercher, in a retrial that reversed an earlier appeal judgment that cleared her.

Knox, who spent four years in an Italian jail before returning to the United States in 2011, was sentenced to 28 years and 6 months but will not face jail time pending further appeals in Italy. Knox did not attend the trial and would have to be extradited to serve her sentence.

“She has powerful legal arguments that she can use to fight extradition, or the U.S. can use to deny extradition,” said Sean Casey, a New York-based former federal prosecutor. “Under the law, the Constitution trumps a treaty.”

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