Amanda Knox, the American student whose Italian conviction for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, was overturned, spoke out on Sept. 20, 2013 about deciding not to return to Italy for a new appeals trial, saying it is an “admission of innocence” rather than guilt, according to USA Today.
On the “Today” show Friday, Knox maintained her she was not guilty of the crime of which she was accused, saying “I was already imprisoned as innocent in Italy, and I can’t reconcile the choice to go back with that experience… I just can’t relive that.”
When asked by NBC’s Matt Lauer if her decision to avoid the trial makes it look as though she’s offering Italian prosecutors an admission of guilt, Knox answered, “I look at it as an admission of innocence, to be quite honest.”
Knox also noted she is attending school and does not have the money to return to Perugia for the proceedings, slated to begin on Sept. 30.
Knox, 24 at the time, appealed her Dec. 2009 conviction regarding the death of Meredith, 21, a British student with whom she shared a cottage in Italy. She was sentenced to 26 years behind bars in an Italian prison. Also found guilty of participating in the murder was Knox’s now ex-boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison, and drifter Rudy Guede who had his initial 30-year sentence reduced to 16 as a result of an appeal.
In Oct. 2011, both Knox and Sollecito's convictions for murder were overturned after the initial DNA testing was questioned and eventually reevaluated. Thus, both were set free and Knox returned to her home state of Washington.
After the acquittal, Italian prosecutors filed an appeal challenging the decision.
Knox said thinking about returning to prison haunts her and told Lauer, “I think about it all the time. It’s so scary. Everything is at stake.”