Amanda Knox Prosecutors Seek Life Prison Sentence

Prosecutors appeal sentencing just days before Knox's lawyer appeal conviction.

ByABC News
April 15, 2010, 2:34 PM

ROME April 15, 2010— -- The Italian prosecutors who sent American college student Amanda Knox to prison for 26 years filed an appeal of the case today, asking the court for a tougher sentence.

The appeal came just days before Knox's lawyers are expected to file their own appeal of her conviction for murdering British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007.

The prosecution did not specify the sentence it wants imposed on Knox, but by arguing that the court should have considered an aggravating circumstance in handing out Knox's punishment, a life sentence would be almost automatic.

Knox's family told ABC New today they are "quite disappointed in the decision of the prosecution's office to pursue an appeal against Amanda and ... to ask for life in prison."

"From all outward appearances, it seems like more of a harassment," said a member of the Knox family.

Theodore Simon, a lawyer for Knox, said her appeal will be filed shortly and it "will profoundly address the wrongfulness of her conviction and recognize the futility of the prosecution's appeal."

Knox was convicted along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on Dec. 5, 2009. Sollecito's lawyer submitted his appeal today.

Once all the appeals have been handed in by the deadline of April 20, the court in Perugia, Italy, will schedule the new trial before a six member jury and two judges. It is not expected to take place until this fall.

A third person, Rudy Guede, 23, was also convicted of participating with Knox and Sollecito in the murder. He was convicted to 30 years in a separate trial, but his sentence was reduced to 16 years on appeal.