It's sort of been in the air that floats around Florence, Italy that American Amanda Knox and former boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito would be found guilty for the second time for the murder of Meredith Kercher. There were leaks from anonymous sources that the judges and jurors were going to snatch away that not guilty verdict in the second trial which freed Amanda to return to her books at the University of Washington in Seattle. Sources from the defense side were not confidently predicting things would go their way this time.
No one officially proclaimed the two defendants would be re-convicted a second time. But the words of Florence's most famous poet Dante who wrote the epic poem "Inferno", "Beware all who enter here" seemed to apply in this situation.
At least Amanda was safely tucked thousands of miles away in the university library studying for exams when the news of the guilty verdicts were announced Thursday, Jan. 30. Poor Rafaelle wishes he wasn't an Italian citizen as he appears stuck in the country shaped like a boot. The authorities can simply arrest him. They don't have to go through the lengthy process of extraditing him from the United States. Although reports indicate he tried to gain U.S. citizenship by marrying Amanda and one other American girl, both proposals were rejected.
Amanda's response to the most recent verdict was that she was disappointed in the Italian legal system, according to ABC News. Dan Abrams on Good Morning America opined that the Italian court system may have (sort of) gotten it right in the final analysis. He speculated that Amanda and Sollecito might have been in the house at the time of the murder while someone else could've actually stabbed Kercher to death. Of course no one can even attempt to extradite her back to the country where Americans love to be tourists but hate to be defendants until the Supreme Court affirms her conviction.
Experts in the land of the Caesars say it may be a year before the Italian Supreme Court rules on whether or not to uphold this conviction. But the smart money is betting they will uphold the conviction, because this is the same group that voted to throw out the not guilty verdict. So once again, it's sort of in the air this murder conviction will be upheld.
This is the same group of judges who ruled the knife with Amanda's DNA on the handle and Meredith's blood on the blade should be considered in this trial as evidence. And there was also evidence with mixed DNA of Amanda and Meredith on it. While Italy's best female attorney Giula Bonjorno was able to cast enough reasonable doubt on the DNA evidence in front of a lower court to win a not guilty at that stage, the Supreme Court was not buying it. So unless something unforeseen occurs, this conviction will be upheld.
Then what happens? Will Italian paratroopers descend upon Seattle in an attempt to arrest Amanda and return her to the land of the centurions? No, it won't be that dramatic. Once the Supreme Court upholds the convictions, the Italian government will have to begin the lengthy extradition proceedings to return Amanda to the place she never wants to visit again.....Italy.
Since Italy and the U.S. do have an extradition treaty, the Italians will request the Americans turn Amanda over to them to serve her prison sentence. While the extradition may wind its way through the American courts, eventually the final decision will be up to the U.S. State Department.
And who is the head honcho of the State Department? Secretary of State John Kerry. Funny how politics and the legal system sometimes intersect isn't it? If the U.S. wants to make Italy happy, it will extradite her. Because if the American government doesn't extradite her, Italy will someday retaliate by not extraditing some convicted murderer to the U.S.
But then again, the U.S. might not care what Italy thinks. John Kerry may make the final decision in this long and winding case.
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