Knox defense turns to Italy's last-resort court

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Knox defense turns to Italy's last-resort court
Amanda Knox's Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, left, is chased by media as he arrives at Italy's highest court building, in Rome, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend expect to learn their fate Wednesday when Italy's highest court hears their appeal of their guilty verdicts in the brutal 2007 murder of Knox's British roommate. Several outcomes are possible, including confirmation of the verdicts, a new appeals round, or even a ruling that amounts to an acquittal in the sensational case that has captivated audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno speaks to journalists as she arrives on March 25, 2015 at the Rome's Supreme Court for the reviewing of Sollecito's trial. The court will examine the verdict that found Raffaele Sollecito and his former lover American Amanda Knox guilty of killing British student Meredith Kercher in the Italian university town of Perugia in 2007, in a case that has captivated the world with its sub-texts of drugs, alleged sexual debauchery and police bungling. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Amanda Knox puts her hand to her forehead while making a television appearance, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 in New York. Knox said she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her and an ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of a British roommate in Italy and vowed to "never go willingly" to face her fate in that country's judicial system . "I'm going to fight this to the very end," she said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America." (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, center, reads out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, center, reads out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. Writing above reads in Italian "The Law is Equal for All." (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Stephanie Kercher (L), sister of Meredith Kercher, and her brother Lyle hold a press conference in a hotel in central Florence on January 31, 2014. A court in Florence on January 30 sentenced US student Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months in prison for the murder of her British housemate in 2007 in the latest dramatic twist in the high-profile case. The court, after 12 hours of deliberations, also found Knox's former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty for killing Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia and sentenced him to 25 years. Knox and Sollecito were first convicted of the murder in 2009, then acquitted in 2011 on appeal. An extradition procedure for Knox can only be launched following a definitive ruling from the supreme court, which could take months or years. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman believed to be Amanda Knox, center left, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from her mother's home to a car by family members Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle. Amanda Knox says she is frightened and saddened by her "unjust" murder conviction in the death of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox's lawyers have vowed to appeal to Italy's highest court. In a statement issued from Seattle on Thursday after her conviction was upheld, Knox blamed overzealous prosecutors and a "prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation" for what she called a perversion of justice and wrongful conviction. (AP Photo)
ADDS STATEMENT FROM KNOX SPOKESMAN DAVID MARRIOTT-An unidentified woman, center, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from the home of Amanda Knox's mother, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle.  Knox?s family spokesman, David Marriott, said Thursday that Knox was at the house when an Italian court upholding her murder conviction was read Thursday, but said he didn?t know whether the person who emerged was Knox. On Friday, Marriott stated he had made inquiries and that the person under the jacket wasn?t Knox. (AP Photo)
ADDS STATEMENT FROM KNOX SPOKESMAN DAVID MARRIOTT-An unidentified woman, center, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from the home of Amanda Knox's mother, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle.  Knox?s family spokesman, David Marriott, said Thursday that Knox was at the house when an Italian court upholding her murder conviction was read Thursday, but said he didn?t know whether the person who emerged was Knox. On Friday, Marriott stated he had made inquiries and that the person under the jacket wasn?t Knox. (AP Photo)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
This image released by NBC shows Amanda Knox during an interview on the "Today" show, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in New York. Knox defended her decision not to return to Italy for a new appeals trial over the 2007 killing of her British roommate, even as she acknowledged that "everything is at stake," insisting she is innocent. In March, Italy's supreme court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend. An appeals court in 2011 had acquitted both, overturning convictions by a lower court. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new legal proceeding. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
Meredith Kercher's brother Lyle, left, and sister Stephanie wait for the reading of the verdict for the murder of the British student in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, center, reads out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. Writing above reads in Italian "The Law is Equal for All." (AP Photo/Fabrizio Giovannozzi)
Francesco Maresca, lawyer of Kercher family, right, caresses his assistant, left, as Meredith Kercher's brother Lyle, center right, and sister Stephanie talk after the reading of the verdict for the murder of the British student, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni )
Meredith Kercher's brother Lyle, left, and sister Stephanie share a word after the Appeals Court Judge Alessandro Nencini, read out the verdict for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, in Florence, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. An appeals court in Florence upheld the convictions of U.S. student Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend for the 2007 murder of her British roommate. Knox was sentenced to 28 1/2 years in prison, raising the specter of a long legal battle over her extradition. After nearly 12 hours of deliberation Thursday the court reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down against Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni )
This image released by NBC shows Amanda Knox during an interview on the "Today" show, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in New York. Knox defended her decision not to return to Italy for a new appeals trial over the 2007 killing of her British roommate, even as she acknowledged that "everything is at stake," insisting she is innocent. In March, Italy's supreme court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend. An appeals court in 2011 had acquitted both, overturning convictions by a lower court. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new legal proceeding. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
This image released by NBC shows Amanda Knox, right, during an interview with Matt Lauer on the "Today" show, Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 in New York. Knox defended her decision not to return to Italy for a new appeals trial over the 2007 killing of her British roommate, even as she acknowledged that "everything is at stake," insisting she is innocent. In March, Italy's supreme court ordered a new trial for Knox and her former Italian boyfriend. An appeals court in 2011 had acquitted both, overturning convictions by a lower court. Italian law cannot compel Knox to return for the new legal proceeding. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
This April 9, 2013 photo released by ABC shows Amanda Knox, left, speaking during a taped interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer in New York. In March, Italy's highest criminal court overturned Knox's acquittal in the 2007 murder of a British student and ordered a new trial. The interview aired Tuesday, April 30, coinciding with the release of her memoir, "Waiting to Be Heard." (AP Photo/ABC, Ida Mae Astute)
Amanda Knox motions to cheering supporters as her mother, Edda Mellas, looks on at a news conference shortly after her arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Seattle. It's been four years since the University of Washington student left for the study abroad program in Perugia and landed in prison. The group Friends of Amanda Knox and others have been awaiting her return since an Italian appeals court on Monday overturned her conviction of sexually assaulting and killing her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Amanda Knox, right, is cheered by family friend Dave Marriott as she arrives for a news conference shortly after her arrival at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Seattle. It's been four years since the University of Washington student left for the study abroad program in Perugia and landed in prison. The group Friends of Amanda Knox and others have been awaiting her return since an Italian appeals court on Monday overturned her conviction of sexually assaulting and killing her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Amanda Knox gestures at a news conference in Seattle Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, after returning home from Italy. Knox was freed Monday after an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction for the death of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Amanda Knox breaks in tears as she is taken away after hearing the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court, central Italy, Monday, Oct. 3, 2011. Italian appeals court threw out Amanda Knox's murder conviction Monday and ordered the young American freed after nearly four years in prison for the death of her British roommate. Knox collapsed in tears after the verdict overturning her 2009 conviction was read out. Her co-defendant, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, also was cleared of killing 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in 2007. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
A woman believed to be Amanda Knox, center left, is hidden under a jacket while being escorted from her mother's home to a car by family members Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Seattle. Amanda Knox says she is frightened and saddened by her "unjust" murder conviction in the death of her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Knox's lawyers have vowed to appeal to Italy's highest court. In a statement issued from Seattle on Thursday after her conviction was upheld, Knox blamed overzealous prosecutors and a "prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation" for what she called a perversion of justice and wrongful conviction. (AP Photo)
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ROME (AP) -- Amanda Knox's lawyers have formally asked Italy's court of last resort to review the U.S. student's appeals court conviction for the 2007 stabbing murder of her British roommate.

Defense lawyer Luciano Ghirga told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the paperwork was submitted last week to the Court of Cassation, Italy's highest criminal court.

Knox's lawyers had promised the move after a Florence appeals court in January reinstated a lower court's murder convictions of her and her Italian former boyfriend in the slaying of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, where all three were studying. The defense filed its recourse after studying the appeals court's written rationale, issued in April, for the convictions.

Cassation judges can either uphold the convictions if they find the appeals trial was properly conducted or order yet another appellate trial. Ghirga said the Cassation Court might take up the case late this year or in early 2015.

The January ruling against Knox included a 28-1/2-year prison sentence for her and a 25-year sentence for her ex-boyfriend and co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito.

Knox, a University of Washington student, has been in the United States since 2011. She left Italy right after an earlier appeals court ruling overturned the initial lower court conviction that had led to her imprisonment in Italy. The American, who turns 27 next month, has vowed the she would never `'willingly" return to Italy to face her fate in court.

She has said she is hopeful Italian courts will "once again recognize" her innocence.

In the 337-page document in which the Florence court laid out its reasons for the convictions, the presiding judge contended Knox herself delivered the fatal knife blow, writing that the American wanted to `'humiliate the victim."

Sollecito has also proclaimed his innocence.

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