Amanda Knox, speaking for the first time since being convicted of the same murder for the second time — this time by Italian court that tried her without Knox there to defend herself — made a somber appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America Friday where she vowed to fight the verdict.
“I’m going to fight this to the very end,” she told interviewer Robin Roberts. “It’s not right and it’s not fair.”
She said that Thursday’s verdict by an Italian appeals court “hit me like a train.” She was so stunned that only on her way to the ABC studio for Friday’s interview did she experience, “my first cry.”
She told Roberts that she watched the verdict delivered live, by picking up an internet stream of an Italian TV broadcast.
“It really hit me like a train,” she said. “I did not expect this to happen. I really expected so much better from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent once before.”
Knox, now 26, spent four years in an Italian prison, convicted of the November 1, 2007, murder of her English roommate, Meredith Kercher. But in 2011, her conviction was overturned and she was freed. In March of 2013, Italy’s Supreme Court reversed the reversal and ordered that she be tried again.
Amanda Knox had already returned to the United States, so the Italian court tried her in absentia and yesterday, January 30, convicted her yet again.
Though the process seems farcical, it remains uncertain what the United State would do if Italy requests the extradition of Amanda Knox. Under the U.S. constitution, “double jeopardy,” in other words trying a person again after a verdict of not guilty, is considered a violation of basic rights.
Amanda Knox was convicted along with her now ex-boyfriend, 29-year-old Rafaelle Sollecito, who was seized yesterday near Italy’s border with Austria. While Italian authorities seized his passport, Sollecito insisted that he was simply visiting his current girlfriend and not trying to flee the country.
But Sollecito was released yesterday because the trial judge had not ordered his arrest. Italy’s high court must still confirm both verdicts. Amanda Knox has been sentenced to 28 years and six months in prison, Sollecito to 25.
“Oh my God, Raffaele,” Amanda Knox said in her ABC interview. “He is vulnerable and I don’t know what I would do if they imprisoned him. It’s maddening.”
Knox, a Seattle native who was taking a term abroad from the University of Washington when Kercher was killed, and her defenders have long contended that there is no evidence connecting either her or her then-boyfriend to the murder. They said that Knox spent that evening at Sollecito’s apartment and, as The New York Times pointed out in a 2009 review of the case, no witnesses place either Amanda Knox or Rafaelle Sollecito at the crime scene.
Though Meredith Kercher was violently strangled and stabbed, no DNA or fingerprints connected Amanda Knox to the crime, the Times reported. A drifter named Rudy Guede, however, was connected to the crime scene by physical evidence and admitted being there and having sex with Kercher the night of her murder.
Guede, who was also convicted of the murder, initially claimed that a stranger entered the apartment while he was in the bathroom and killed Kercher. He later changed his story to say that Rafaelle Sollecito and Amanda Knox murdered the 21-year-old Londoner for thrills as part of a drug-fueled sex-game.
That sensational story is what the media ran with, and which led to the conviction of Amanda Knox.
“This is an experience that I have to testify to, that really horrible things can happen and you have to stand up for yourself,” Amanda Knox said in her Friday morning ABC interview.