Last updated on April 23, 2015
Italy’s highest court will decide whether or not to uphold the murder conviction for the infamous 2007 Amanda Knox case.
Knox was found guilty of murder by the Italian judicial system in 2009 but later acquitted.
The latest verdict being made by Italian courts will be released on Friday.
If found guilty, Italian officials could begin an extradition proceeding to have Knox, who remains on American soil, sent back to Italy for what could be a 28-year prison sentence.
Standard procedure dictates that under normal circumstances, the US would be required to extradite a person under the 1983 extradition agreement between Italy and the US. However, in this instance where the case has been high-profile and based around circumstantial evidence, it makes the extradition uncertain.
If Italian officials provide an extradition request, the US may feel inclined to say no based on a double-jeopardy clause, which is included in the extradition treaty.
In that event, it would not be the first time the extradition treaty between the two countries had broken down. In the past, the US has refused to extradite individuals convicted of crimes in Italian courts, but those cases involved intelligence and military officials.
“Extradition shall not be granted when the person sought has been convicted, acquitted or pardoned, or has served the sentence imposed, by the Requested Party for the same acts for which extradition is requested,” the treaty states.
According to M. Cherif Bassiouni, a former U.N. lawyer and international extradition law expert, “Whatever the interpretation of article VI may be … Amanda Knox would not be extraditable to Italy should Italy seek her extradition because she was retried for the same acts, the same facts, and the same conduct,” Bassiouni wrote in an Oxford University Press blog post. “Her case was reviewed three times with different outcomes even though she was not actually tried three times.”
The US has extradition agreements with more than 100 countries.