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Your questions answered: The Amanda Knox trial

NEED TO KNOW
  • Amanda Knox is being retried for allegedly killing a British exchange student in 2007
  • HLN answers some of the most frequently asked questions about this complicated case
Your questions answered: The Amanda Knox trial

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File photo: Amanda Knox is escorted from her appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on September 30, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.

The Amanda Knox case is a long and complicated story, and it isn’t over yet.

Knox is currently being tried a third time for the murder of her former flatmate, Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British student studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, who was stabbed to death in 2007.

Read more: Knox's retrial takes a supernatural turn

Here are five of the most frequently asked questions about the case.

Why is Knox on trial again?

In 2009, Knox and her ex-boyfriend and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito were convicted of killing Kercher. The convictions were overturned due to a “lack of evidence” in 2011, but Italy’s Supreme Court ruled last year to retry the case, saying that the jury didn’t take all the evidence into consideration. The second retrial began on September 30.

This wouldn’t happen in America. The double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prevents the government from prosecuting someone for the same crime more than once.

Why does it seem like court only happens once a week?

The way the appeals court in Florence, Italy, scheduled the retrial is different from the way cases are usually handled in America. Instead of handling the case all at once, the Italian appeals court scheduled the court dates for the retrial in a piecemeal fashion.

The next hearing in the retrial will be in December, when defense attorneys will give their summations, which are similar to closing arguments. A ruling is not expected from the appellate court until January.

Who might have killed Kercher if Knox and Sollecito didn’t do it?

There isn’t a clear answer to this question. However, it is important to remember that prosecutors have accused three people of killing Kercher. In fact there was another person convicted in the case. Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast citizen who said he was intimate with Kercher, was later convicted of her murder. He is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence. Originally, prosecutors were going to try all three of the defendants together, but Guede requested a separate trial.

Guede has claimed that Knox and Sollecito are responsible for Kercher's death. He even wrote a letter to a news website in the spring of 2010, referring to "a horrible homicide of a splendid young girl, Meredith Kercher, by Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito."

Is Knox attending her new trial?

No, and it seems unlikely that she will return to Italy. Family spokesman David Marriott has said Knox never agreed to attend her new trial, and there's "no requirement she be there." However, Marriott did say there is a chance the Italian government could request her extradition from the United States.

Knox returned home to Seattle in October 2011, and she has led a relatively low-profile life since then. However, she has granted a few media interviews and released a book, “Waiting to be Heard: A Memoir.”

If she's convicted, is there any chance she could be forced to return to Italy to be punished? 

If convicted, Italy could ask the United States for her extradition. However, if this happens there will likely be a lengthy court battle in the United States to determine whether to hand her over.

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