Would the US State Department extradite Amanda Knox if she is convicted again of murder in the death of her roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy? A verdict in the prosecution’s appeal from the reversal of the conviction is expected to be issued January 30th.
Update: On January 20th, 2014, the day after this article was published, Prosecutor Alessandro Crini told the Court that in the event of a conviction, he would ask the Court to take the steps to make Knox actually serve the sentence, meaning, extradition.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once briefly commented on the case, stating she was willing to meet with Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell about the original guilty verdict which was hotly disputed by Cantwell. Extradition was not at issue at that time, as Knox was securely held in an Italian prison at that time. Extradition could have been requested prior to trial on the appeal but apparently was not. Knox’s own attorneys wanted her to appear at the current trial, instead she sent an email to the judge. So Knox is not anxious to set foot in Italy now, let alone in the event of another adverse verdict.
Now John Kerry is the US Secretary of State, and Knox is in the US following a reversal of her murder conviction, and the issue of extradition will loom large in the event of a re-instatement of a conviction of murder, as many following the case predict.
The US does have an extradition treaty with Italy, but any request following a potential conviction, must still pass various levels of review by the US State Department. Would any such review be influenced by political biases, instead of the validity of any verdict by the Italian court? Maria Cantwell and John Kerry are of course career politicians and both Democrats. Maria Cantwell endorsed John Kerry in his 2004 presidential bid. Will there be loyalty to the law, or to Cantwell’s personal feelings that a University of Washington exchange student couldn’t possibly be guilty of murder? Would the President intervene to appease Cantwell?