Amanda Knox: Four Possible Verdicts, Only One in Her Favor

Murder conviction is only one of several legal problems Knox faces.

ByABC News
October 3, 2011, 7:26 PM

Oct. 2, 2011 — -- On Monday morning, when silence fills Perugia's Court of Appeal and Amanda Knox awaits the decision on her fate, there will be four possible outcomes she could hear. Only one is in her favor.

Knox has been in prison for the past four years, serving a 26 year sentence for murder.

Whoever loses the appeal on Monday is expected to take the case to Italy's supreme court.

First, the Italian court could choose to uphold Knox's original conviction and order her to serve the remaining 22 years of her sentence in Italy. Knox, who was 20 when Kercher was killed and is 24 now, would be in jail until she is 47 if this is the outcome.

Second, the court could uphold the conviction and honor the prosecution's request to increase Knox's sentenceto life in prison, Italy's toughest sentence. This could include six months in daytime solitary confinement.

The Possible Verdicts for Amanda Knox

During the prosecution's rebuttal on Friday, prosecutor Manuela Comodi made a jab at the American legal system, saying Knox is lucky that Italy does not have the death penalty.

The court could also decide to uphold the conviction and reduce Knox's sentence. This was what happened to Rudy Guede, the Ivory Coast drifter convicted in a separate trial of taking part in Kercher's murder. While upholding his conviction, the court reduced his initial 30 prison sentence to 16 years.

The outcome Knox and her family are hoping for is exoneration. The court could overturn her conviction and release her from prison. It would take a majority vote of the six jurors and two judges throw out the conviction. If they are evenly split, Knox and Sollecito will be free.

It is unclear how soon Knox would be able to leave Italy, if found innocent. Her passport has expired during her time in prison, so this practical issue would need to be resolved.

"I'm hoping the judge and jury have seen what I've seen throughout the trial," Knox's father Curt Knox told ABC News. "I'm very hopeful we'll take Amanda home."

Regardless of the outcome, either side could appeal the verdict to Italy's supreme court since Italy does not have a double jeopardy rule. If Knox is acquitted and the prosecutors choose to appeal, it is likely that Knox could return home to the United States during the appeal. She would still carry criminal charges during this time, until the Supreme Court weighs in.

However, even if the Italian Supreme Court eventually reverses the appeal court ruling and finds Knox guilty again, the chances of Italy pursuing her extradition from the United States are considered slim.

One of Knox's prosecutors, Giuliano Mignini, alluded to this possibility when he spoke to the court on Friday, warning, "An acquittal would mean an escape abroad and no justice in this case."

Knox's arrest on murder charges has spawned several civil suits which are tangled up in Monday's verdict.

She is facing civil charges from Diya "Patrick" Lumumba, a Congolese man who owned Le Chic Bar where Knox worked part time. During her nearly 50 hour interrogation by Perugia police, Knox falsely implicated Lumumba in Kercher's death.

She tried to retract her statement the next morning, saying she has been confused by police who had insisted Lumumba was involved based on a text message she has sent him hours before Kercher's death. The message, an Italian version of "see you later," was interpreted by police as a plan to meet up later that night rather than the American expression for good-bye.