‘No option’ but to extradite
Chicago - The US will have little legal argument for turning down an extradition request should Italy seek the return of Amanda Knox for the 2007 murder of her British housemate.
Knox was following the proceedings from her hometown of Seattle in the US.
“As popular as she is here and as pretty as she is here – because that’s what this is all about, if she was not an attractive woman we wouldn’t have the group love-in – she will be extradited if it’s upheld,” said Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
While Knox has won a great deal of support in the US where she is seen as the innocent victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dershowitz said there are no legal grounds for preventing extradition.
Nor would it play well diplomatically, given that the US demands more extraditions than any other nation.
“The Italian legal system, though I don’t love it, is a legitimate legal system and we have a treaty with Italy so I don’t see how we would resist,” he said.
“We’re trying to get Snowden back – how does it look if we want Snowden back and we won’t return someone for murder?” he asked, referring to fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Italy must first file an extradition request with the US State Department.
Knox’s supporters argue she should be protected from extradition because the Italian system – which allows prosecutors to appeal a verdict – violates the US legal prohibition on double jeopardy: trying someone twice for the same crime.