Amanda Knox, who was found guilty of murder for the second time by an Italian court yesterday during a third trial held in Italy, said this morning that she will do everything she can to prove the court's decision was wrong. In an emotional interview on Good Morning America, Knox also admitted that she learned of the decision on the Internet like everyone one else. Though she was represented by lawyers in Italy, Knox remained in the United States since being released in 2011.
During the interview, Knox told anchor Robin Roberts "I will never go willingly back to the place where... I'm going to fight this to the very end. It's not right and it's not fair." A mostly composed Knox quavered at moment, adding:
I need a lot of help. I can't do this on my own and I can't help people understand this on my own. There are people who know better than I do the way these systems work, and the way that there was this entirely preventable thing that happened that was systematic.
The 26-year-old American woman was charged, along with then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito with the sexual abuse and grisly murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007. Kercher, a 21-year-old British student, shared a villa with Knox during their semester abroad in Italy. In November 2007 she was found dead in their living space and prosecutors argued that Knox, Sollecito, and another man, Rudy Guede, attempted to include Kercher in a sex game, then raped and stabbed her to death after she refused. Knox, Sollecito, and Guede spent four years in an Italian prison before a court overturned the verdicts of Knox and Sollecito due to "lack of evidence." Guede's sentence was not overturned, and he remains in prison.
Knox and Sollecito were both released in 2011. The acquittal, however, was overturned in 2013 and a new trial ordered — once Knox had already returned to the State. Yesterday, the court decided to reverse their acquittal, finding Knox and Sollecito guilty again and re-sentencing her to an additional 28.5 years in jail, and him to another 25. Sollecito was found in Italy near the Austrian border, where officials confiscated his passport so that he remains in the country throughout the appeals process.
Yesterday, Knox issued a statement in reaction to the news, writing:
I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict. Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system. The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, nothing has changed. There has always been a marked lack of evidence. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution.
The high-profile case caught global attention, and spawned speculation on whether Knox — dubbed "Foxy Knoxy" by some of the tabloid press — had a hand in the killing. Some believe that prosecuting lawyer Giuliano Mignini was unbalanced and harboring an agenda, while others thought that the evidence against Knox was too strong to ignore. Even if the court reaches a more definitive verdict, which is unlikely considering the amount of uncertainty surrounding the case, a conclusion to the case remains far off. Knox and Sollecito will appeal the verdict, a process that could take around one year. If the appeal is dismissed, Knox could be extradited to Italy, likely setting another long and protracted legal fight between the two countries. The U.S. could deny the request on the grounds that American law does not allow defendants to face "double jeopardy."