Amanda Knox was just reconvicted of slander in an Italian court. Here's why — and what it means.

After years of retrials and thrown-out convictions, Amanda Knox's story gets another layer with a new decision.

Amanda Knox appeared before an Italian court for the first time in several years.
Amanda Knox appeared before an Italian court for the first time in several years. (Antonio Calanni/AP Photo)
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Amanda Knox, the American who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her British roommate while studying abroad in Italy in 2007, was reconvicted in an Italian court Wednesday on slander charges stemming from the 17-year-old case.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest conviction against Knox, now 36, and what it means for her.

🧑‍⚖️ Remind me, who was Amanda Knox?

Knox was thrust into the international media spotlight as a college student in November 2007 when, while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, her roommate, a British student named Meredith Kercher, was found dead in their shared apartment.

The then-20-year-old Knox was soon brought in for questioning and eventually charged and convicted of Kercher’s murder in 2009. That ruling was overturned in 2011 due to independent forensic evidence, but she was then reconvicted in 2013 by Italy’s supreme court and again in 2014 by a Florentine appellate court. Finally, in 2015, Knox was exonerated of all murder charges by Italy’s highest court.

🎙️ Why was she just reconvicted of slander?

During her initial interrogation by police in Puglia — which the European Court of Human Rights later concluded had violated her human rights — Knox wrongly identified Patrick Lumumba, the Congolese owner of a bar where she worked part-time, as Kercher’s killer in a written note.

In addition to the murder charges, Knox was also found guilty of slander for wrongly identifying Lumumba and sentenced to three years in prison. Once Knox was exonerated for the murder charges, the slander conviction still remained intact.

Then, after the European court’s ruling in 2019, the slander conviction was also thrown out. But Italy’s supreme court later asked the court in Florence to take up a new trial to determine whether Knox had slandered Lumumba in her note.

Knox returned to the court in Florence on Wednesday to defend herself against the latest charges, saying that she only named Lumumba — who she described as "not only her employer," but a friend — under questioning because she was confused and exhausted.

⚖️ What does this mean for Knox?

In Italy, slander would fall under the umbrella of defamation, which can be criminally tried with punishment up to three years. However, because she already served three years in prison while waiting for her first murder trial to begin, she likely won’t have to serve anymore jail time.

Ahead of Wednesday’s ruling, Knox wrote in a post on X that she hoped she could finally clear her name.

The judge that issued the latest conviction now has 60 days to provide her reasoning for upholding that decision in writing. After that, Knox and her lawyers will have 60 days to appeal the ruling, which they have indicated that they plan to do.