Is Amanda Knox pressuring the US State department?

In October, 2013, supporters of Amanda Knox held an open house in the US congress, hosted by representatives from the northwest region. The congressional open house is being provided to the legislative branch of the US government. As has been reported in previous posts here, Knox’s options for fighting a potential extradition in the US federal courts in the judicial branch is very limited. The best explanation for such an action is one of political pressure- rallying support to pressure Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama to deny extradition (when and if it comes).

The process of extradition primarily occurs in the judicial branch of the US government; specifically in US federal courts.  US extradition courts do not try the case, so they will not weigh the merits of a defense. They will only consider an explanation for the evidence that is presented by the foreign country. This presumably excludes contesting the evidence, as that puts the court into weighing the merits of the case. Claims of a lack of “fundamental fairness” of the proceedings and/or outcome of the courts of a foreign country are also not considered in the realm of the extradition proceedings in the court, due to the “rule of non-inquiry.”

As for “double jeopardy”, Knox’s own lawyer reportedly has already indicated to the Toronto Sun that double jeopardy does not apply, as this is a ‘continuation of the case on appeal.’  The Toronto Sun also reports the comments from a legal expert that the courts have heard this type of double jeopardy defense in the past, and those claims have been denied. (It is noted that a Canadian news source has better reporting than the US media on the US legal system).

The judges in US vs. Kin-Hong, 1997 indicate that “fundamental fairness,” while a concern, is not within the purview of  the federal courts in judicial branch of the US government.  In the Kin-Hong ruling, the judges state “it is that there is another branch of government, which has both final say and greater discretion in these proceedings, to whom these questions are more properly addressed.” In practical terms- this is the executive branch, which of course is headed by the President of the United States. Specifically, this means the US State department.

Knox supporters have have stated that Knox has been railroaded, that this case is unfair, etc. Since the US federal courts will not review these issues, Knox’s best chance at avoiding a potential extradition is by having Secretary Kerry deny an extradition request.


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