Assuming, without deciding, that she’s innocent the term “torture” would not be an exaggerated characterization of what Amanda Knox must be experiencing. Imagine being so young and having something horrible like that happen to your roommate, only to wind up in the dock for years on end.
Italy has its legal processes and we have ours. Reaching “closure” is problematic in each – which is all right on one level, because it’s more important to get it right than it is to resolve important disputes hastily.
Still, however necessary it may be, it’s a terrible ordeal for everyone involved.
One extremely misleading part of the CNN article must be addressed, however:
Knox may be ordered to return to Italy for the retrial, to be heard in an appellate court in Florence.
If she refuses, the Italian government could appeal to the U.S. government for her extradition.
But even if it does, Knox still not might end up before an Italian court.
U.S. officials might reject such a request because it violates the U.S. legal principle that a criminal defendant can’t be tried twice on the same allegation, said Joey Jackson, a contributor for HLN’s “In Session.”
Italy lacks the absolute prohibition present in U.S. law preventing authorities from retrying a criminal defendant who has been acquitted of a charge.
“We have principles that are well-founded within our Constitution, one of which is double jeopardy,” Jackson said. “So as a result of that, I think it would be highly objectionable for the United States to surrender someone to another country for which justice has already been administered and meted out. So I don’t think or anticipate that that would happen.”
This is wildly inaccurate and portrays a devotion to the principle of “double jeopardy” that doesn’t exist in the US. Put succinctly and truthfully, prosecuting officials as a group in the US can get around the double jeopardy proscription of the constitution any time they feel like it, while of course paying it an exceptionally cynical lip service which the courts are only too happy to echo. There are many examples of this, well known to criminal defense practitioners, and even cursory legal research will reveal it.
Criminal prosecutions, accordingly, can chew up enormous swaths of a person’s life – decades – however unfounded they may be, and illusory proscriptions against double jeopardy do not impede this result in the slightest. This is apparently true in Italy; and it’s true in the US. Denying that is either too ignorant to merit extended discussion, or outright misrepresentation or lying.