Amanda Knox Won’t Be Extradited: ‘They’ll Have To Pull Me Back Kicking And Screaming’
Amanda Knox was found guilty of killing her former roommate in a third trial in Italian courts, but the American said she has no plans to be extradited to Italy to serve out her 28-year sentence.
Knox was found guilty Thursday of killing roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. Knox, who had already served time in an Italian prison before her conviction was overturned, watched the trial from her home in Seattle and expressed disappointment in the outcome.
“I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict,” Knox said in a statement. “Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system.”
“My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution,” she added.
But Amanda Knox said she has no intention of being extradited back to Italy to serve her sentence, and will fight extradition for the crime.
“I’m definitely not going back to Italy willingly. They’ll have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don’t deserve to be in. I will fight for my innocence,” she told the Guardian in an interview before the verdict was announced.
But the decision is out of the hands of Amanda Knox, experts say. The extradition process would begin only if Italy makes a formal request to the U.S. State Department, which would then send the request through the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs.
The Justice Department is concerned mainly with whether Italy’s petition meets sufficient standards. If it does, the extradition request would be taken to a federal judge to hear the cast.
Though Knox’s attorneys will likely argue against the validity of her conviction, the ruling will be dictated mainly by whether paperwork and treaty standards have been met, said Mary Fan, a University of Washington Law School professor and expert in international and domestic criminal law.
Fan said U.S. officials would have a difficult time not carrying out the extradition, she said.
“Someday, the U.S. might seek extradition of someone convicted of a serious crime, such as murder, from Italy,” she said. “So, it’s reciprocity that’s the major consideration. Not just in this case, but in future cases. That’s something that the State Department has to consider.”
While it remains unclear when or if Amanda Knox could be extradited, her lawyers have vowed to fight the conviction in Italian courts as well.