February 4, 2014
It seems the recent guilty verdict by the Italian court made more than a few people panic. This was compounded by the news stories circulating about how Amanda would be extradited to Italy. So called experts and international lawyers were saying how Knox was now in a very bad position. And I was buying into this nonsense also.
Now that the smoke is clearing a bit, and after doing a little research on extradition and also on petitions, I think some people including myself jumped the gun on this. First I want to clear a few things up. About the petition I originally mentioned a few days ago- I was referring to a 'long term' petition. I found out after writing that post that 2 petitions were started the day before my post at the white house site- We the People.
This type of petition has a 30 day time limit with a threshold of 100,000 signatures required to get a response from the White House. Now I don't know who started these petitions at the government site, but I'm sure their heart is in the right place. But the problem with these type of petitions is the time limit- 30 days- it actually ends on March 1, 2014. Even if these petitions made the required threshold for White House response- all the government would say is: Hey, Italy did not ask for us to extradite Amanda Knox. And that's all they would have to say about that.
If the Italian Supreme Court upholds the guilty verdict they may ask for Knox to be extradited. There are also reasons they may not ask. So these current white house petitions are not going to block an extradition that is not even on the table. On the other hand- these petitions are certainly not harming anything either. It should be pointed out however that the majority of Knox supporters will probably not sign a petition where there is no present threat to Amanda. Without realizing they were quick 30 day petitions I sign them myself. No harm done, and I'm not sorry I did. It does show support for the cause, but other than showing support they have no practical value. This type of petition will have value if Italy ever asks the U S to turn over Amanda Knox.
Now about extradition. A few news/online blogs are stating that the U S would have to turn over Knox if Italy requested it. THAT IS NOT CORRECT.
The U S does not HAVE to extradite Knox and common sense dictates that they probably will not. Just because there is a treaty between the U S and Italy does not mean we hand over people blindly. There are clauses in most treaties- and one of the most common is: that 'probable cause to believe' that the person asked for committed the offense. These trials in Italy against Knox and Sollecito have been internationally condemned by a great many people including law makers and forensic scientists. Also, the guilty 26 years....not guilty you can go..........guilty 28.5 years verdicts do not set well with the American people or the U S Constitution. Add to this the facts that Knox had no legal rep, was assulted during interrogation, and was hoodwinked into making false statements- and I think the U S has a dozen reasons to say NO to Italy if they ever come calling. To put it simply- this is no average case where the U S would feel compelled to comply with extradition. This case is an exception to the rule and that's putting it mildly.
As far as double jeopardy (to be tried more than once/ sentenced more than once for the same crime) in this country it is forbidden by the U S Constitution. But the trials were held in Italy under Italian law, so it is not as simple as it sounds. Even the law experts are divided as to whether this constitutes double jeopardy. Whether the State Dept thinks so or not is not the last resort to saving Amanda from extradition. This case was tainted from the very beginning- and that's not a secret. I can not see the Secretary of State handing over an obviously innocent person to be jailed overseas simply because there is a treaty. Bottom line is- this case does not meet the conditions necessary for the U S to approve extradition.
As for that panic button- I think I hit it myself after I heard the recent verdict- I'm better now.
This forum is not endorsed by Amanda Knox nor her family or legal council. It is an independent venture for the purpose of an open public forum on Amanda's pending appeal in Italy. It is for educational purposes only.