Friday, January 31, 2014

Italy: Update--Amanda Knox, 26, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, Found Guilty of Murdering Meredith Kircher

According to The Associated Press, an Italian appellate court in Florence on Thursday (January 30) upheld an earlier conviction against Amanda Knox, 26, and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, in the murder of Knox's former roommate, Meredith Kercher. 

Kercher, who was 21 at the time of her murder, was bludgeoned to death. She was killed on November 1, 2007 in Perugía, Italy.
The appellate court sentenced Knox to 28½ years in prison and Sollecito to 25 years for Kercher's 2007 murder. The court did not immediately order Sollecito's arrest and noted that Knox was "justifiably abroad" after an appellate court in 2011 acquitted the two and ordered them freed.
COMMENT: The new conviction immediately fueled speculation that a long, drawn-out extradition process for Knox is in the offing, assuming the verdicts are upheld on appeal to the Supreme Court, a process that could take at least another year or two.
After the acquittal in 2011, Knox returned to Seattle, WA, hoping that that would end her involvement with the Italian criminal justice system. Yet, Italy's Supreme Court soon ordered a third trial that returned new guilty verdicts and extended her original 26-year sentence. 
As for Sollecito, he was taken to a police station after the guilty verdicts were read in court, where his passport was stamped that he cannot leave Italy as mandated by the Florence court.
That being said, fraudulent passports can easily be obtained in Italy. In a statement made from Seattle, Amanda Knox denounced the ruling as unjust, saying she was "frightened and saddened" by the perversion of justice.
Imagine the wonderful times the family might have shared were Meredith still alive? Imagine!
For Amanda Knox, she will no doubt return to tabloid celebrity status for many years to come.
Tragically, though, for the Kerchers, young Meredith is dead and has been for six long years. The only thing left for them is continued loss and heartache, not knowing exactly how their precious daughter actually died.

Justice will never bring Meredith back, but it will calm the souls of her family...if someone goes to prison. Tw
hich will be something we have to come to terms with," said Stephanie Kercher, the victim's sister who attended the verdict with her brother Lyle.Lawyers for both Knox and Sollecito have vowed to appeal, but must wait to see the written reasoning behind the verdict before doing so. The Florence court has 90 days to issue its motivations.