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Amanda Knox: Prosecutor asks for conviction and extradition

Amanda Knox..........verdict nears for University of Washington student in brutal murder trial in Italy.
Amanda Knox..........verdict nears for University of Washington student in brutal murder trial in Italy.
J. Butterman

The new prosecutor in Amanda Knox's third trial today during his closing argument asked judges to convict the U.S. citizen of murder and then to extradite her from Seattle to Italy to serve a prison sentence, according to Radar News, today Tuesday Jan. 21. In her first trial she was found guilty of murder, but in her second trial she was found not guilty.

Judges are expected to render a verdict in the high profile case around Jan. 30.

Prosecutor Alessandro Crini said during his closing argument Monday that Knox should be "mandated to serve her sentences, even if extradition is necessary, if she is convicted" in the re-re-trial of the 2007 murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher. Original prosecutor Giulianni Mignini who successfully prosecuted the American exchange student in the first trial is no longer a part of the prosecution team for this go-around.

It was Mignini who first came to the conclusion Knox should be prosecuted based on her knowledge of the location of Kercher's body. His conclusion was that she must have at least been present at the time of the murder for her to know Kercher's body was "by the closet with a cover or a sheet over her," according to an article in Vanity Fair.

Although some journalists say this is the third trial for Knox and former boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito, it will be the fourth time in six years an Italian court will decide the guilt or lack thereof for the murder of Kercher, whose father is a journalist in Britian and first heard the tragic news in his newsroom. While the math is somewhat confusing, the pair were convicted and sentenced to 25 years and 26 years in prison for murder in 2009, according to the Daily Beast. However, two years later they were found not guilty and released from their Italian prison cells.

But that acquittal was reversed in 2013 and the two defendants are actually appealing thier 2009 murder convictions for the second time. Regardless of whose math one subscribes to, whether its three or four trials, it does seem the process should have a logical end at some point. But those who have read Charles Dickens' Bleak House, the satire of a probate trial which extended for generations, the judicial process is not always logical.

While the prosecutors, judges, lay jurors and location for the six-year exercise in legal combat have all changed, some key issues have not altered. One serious bone of contention is the DNA evidence and what does it prove? What would seem on the surface not to be a problem has turned into a complex conversation. The prosecution argues that Knox's DNA is on the handle of a knife which has Kercher's blood on the blade. The experts who started this investigation in 2007, say that a sample of DNA in the groove of the blade of a knife found in Sollecito's apartment matches Kercher's DNA. Since the sample was too small for the defense to re-test, Knox's and Sollecito's attorneys have argued it should be excluded from the evidence.

The court which convicted Knox and her ex concluded that knife with the defendant's and victim's DNA clinging to it was the murder weapon. But the first appellate court disagreed and refused to consider that evidence when they voted to acquit. However, the current appellate court is considering the knife.

The whole outcome of the trial could well hinge on what this court decides about the knife.

While Knox will not be in attendance to hear the verdict on Jan. 30, the siblings of victim Meredith Kercher will be in the Italian courtroom for that announcement.

Judge Nencini has mentioned on several occasions that the American has been absent from the courtroom during the entire trial. Knox did send the court an email in which she proclaimed her innocence.

She has said she is remaining in Seattle for fear of being sent to an Italian prison if she is "once again falsely convicted of the murder."

An attorney for the U.S. State Dept. reportedly said America would not honor any requests from Italy to extradite Knox even if she is found guilty this time. There is an extradition treaty between the U.S. and Italy.

The only thing certain about this unparallelled trial (or trials) is that Ivory Coast native Rudy Guede was convicted for the murder and sentenced to 16 years incarceration.

It is now finger-biting time for the defendants and prosecutors as they await the decision of the judges and jurors in this case which has captured the attention of the world.

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