Italy Orders a New Trial for Amanda Knox

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 26 2013 10:21 AM

Italy Orders a New Trial for Amanda Knox

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Amanda Knox will not be required to return to Italy for her retrial.

Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

Italy's highest court this morning ordered a new trial for Amanda Knox, the American student who had been found guilty of killing her British roommate in 2007 only to have the charges overturned in October 2011. The ruling breathes fresh life into a tabloid-ready case that has already been documented in more than a dozen books—including one penned by Knox herself that is set to be published at the end of next month—and one made-for-TV movie. The New York Times with the details from Rome:

The judges’ announcement that earlier acquittals had been overturned was greeted by a shocked silence in the courtroom here. Ms. Knox, who now attends the University of Washington in Seattle and had expressed hope that the ordeal was behind her, said through a spokesman that the news of her resurrected prosecution was “painful.”
The ruling by the Court of Cassation means that the case against Ms. Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, will be reheard at a new appeals court in Florence either later this year or in 2014. ... The ruling on Tuesday did not call for the rearrest of the two defendants. Carlo Dalla Vedova, Ms. Knox’s lawyer, said she was unlikely to return to Italy for a retrial. “The psychological stress of the case has been heavy. I don’t think that she’ll come,” he said.
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Knox and Sollecito were convicted in December 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith Kercher, who was stabbed to death in her bedroom in the Perugia apartment she shared with Knox and two other women. At the time, Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, and Sollecito was sentenced to 25. The Italian appeals court that ultimately overturned those convictions had a number of options, including acquitting Knox and Sollecito, either fully or on the basis of insufficient evidence; confirming their sentences; or lengthening them. Prosecutors, meanwhile, had asked that the pair’s sentences be increased to life in prison.

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.