An Italian appeals court convicted former exchange student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on murder charges Thursday night.
Prosecutors said the couple had killed Meredith Kercher in November 2007. They were convicted two years later of murder, but those charges were overturned on appeal in 2011.
A judge said Thursday that Knox, also convicted of slander, was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison. Sollecito’s sentence was 25 years.
Knox, an American, said her conviction would bring no consolation to the Kercher’s family
“I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict,” she said in written remarks. “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. …There has always been a marked lack of evidence.”
She called the legal proceedings a travesty.
“This has gotten out of hand. Most troubling is that it was entirely preventable,” she said. “I beseech those with the knowledge and authority to address and remediate the problems that worked to pervert the course of justice and waste the valuable resources of the system.”
It is unlikely that Knox, who lives in Seattle, Washington, will return to Italy to serve additional prison time because U.S. law dictates that a person cannot be tried twice on the same charge, a legal expert told CNN. He believes that if Italy were to ask for extradition, U.S. officials would deny the request.
“She was once put in jeopardy and later acquitted,” said Sean Casey, a former prosecutor who is now a partner at Kobre & Kim in New York. “Under the treaty, extradition should not be granted.”