Most Americans say that Amanda Knox shouldn't return to Italy, but nearly half of the public aren't sure whether she is guilty or innocent
On January 30th an Italian court upheld the conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. The decision marks yet another twist in the long-running legal saga surrounding the case and opens the door for Amanda Knox to be extradited back to Italy to complete her prison sentence. Amanda Knox's future isn't clear cut, however, as this decision confirming the conviction is also open to appeal, which her lawyer said will probably take place in 2015.
The latest research from YouGov shows that most Americans (55%) don't think that Amanda Knox should voluntarily return to Italy to deal with her legal troubles. Only 21% say that she should return to Italy and face the prospect of serving out the rest of her prison sentence.
Asked whether Amanda Knox is probably innocent or guilty based on what they currently know, nearly half of Americans (49%) just aren't sure either way. 21% say that she is probably guilty, but Americans are marginally more likely to believe Amanda and say that she is innocent (29%).
Unsurprisingly, the vast majority (91%) of Americans who think that Amanda Knox did not murder Meredith Kercher also do not think that she should return to Italy and face the prospect of going to prison once again. Most people (56%) who think that she is guilty want her to head back to Italy to face the consequences, but 31% of people who think that she probably did commit murder nevertheless want her to dodge justice and live freely in the United States.
Even if the conviction of Amanda Knox was to be upheld by the highest Italian courts after further appeals, there is a chance that any attempt to extradite her to Italy could fail. In addition to the possibility that US courts could reject the extradition on the grounds that she was found innocent on appeal, US officials also have the power to block the extradition, though legal experts say that it is likely that the Department of Justice would cooperate with any Italian request for extradition.
Full poll results can be found here.