Amanda Knox to appeal verdict, stay in prison up to 2 years
Amanda Knox will remain in prison for up to two years while attorneys appeal her conviction, a process that will not begin for at least 90 days, Italian attorney Alessandro Canali said.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Amanda Knox will be in prison for up to two years while attorneys appeal her conviction, a process that will not begin for at least 90 days, Italian attorney Alessandro Canali said.
Lawyers for Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her former boyfriend, both found guilty of murdering roommate Meredith Kercher, will have just 45 days to file an appeal after a side judge in the just-concluded trial publishes the court's decision. Judges take about three months to do so, but can request more time.
An Italian appeals trial is conducted the same as the first, complete with jury. More evidence can be presented or requested.
A newly appointed prosecutor could ask for acquittal. "The prosecutor on appeal is not bound by the actions of the prosecutor in the first case," said Canali, a foreign law consultant in Seattle who practices law in Rome.
Knox's 26-year sentence was actually a good sign, he said, considering prosecutors asked for life imprisonment.
In contrast, he noted, Rudy Guede — found guilty of murdering and sexually assaulting Kercher — opted for a "fast-track" trial, which defendants who believe they will be convicted choose in exchange for a sentence one-third of the maximum.
"She got four years less without the benefit of the short trial," he said. So really, "she got 50 years less. Someone on the jury thought she was not on the same level as Guede."
Italian juries have only to reach majority consensus. Each of the eight jurors imposes a sentence they believe proper, from life down to acquittal. The ultimate sentence given is the maximum that at least five of the jurors will support.
He doesn't believe the notoriety surrounding the case affected the decision. "This kind of thing happens to Italian people all the time," he said.
Marc Ramirez: 206-464-8102 or email@example.com
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