Today - Season 62
Peter Kramer / NBC

TODAY   |  September 20, 2013

Amanda Knox: I won’t go back to Italy for new trial

In an exclusive interview with TODAY, American Amanda Knox said she will not return to Italy to face retrial over the murder of her former roommate.  "I was already imprisoned as an innocent person in Italy, and I can't reconcile the choice to go back with that experience," she told Matt Lauer.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> she is with us. her book is called "waiting to be heard." how are you doing?

>> hi.

>> i have been reading some of the things you said over the past year or so. you talked about having symptoms of ptsd and nightmares and panic attacks. as this trial now gets ready to start in about 10 days, has that some what kind of inflamed that issue?

>> absolutely. it's been a hard month. it's so crazy to -- it's happening so fast. it's happening and i'm not quite sure what's going to happen. but i am trying to do everything i can to make a difference.

>> i look back, april 30th was the last time i saw you make a comment where you said you were still considering going.

>> yeah.

>> now you said no, you will not be there to stand trial. how much -- and i think most people would assume that much of that decision was based on the fear that if you're found guilty you could go right back to prison and you won't see the united states for a long time.

>> i look at it as -- i was already imprisoned as an innocent person in italy and i can't reconcile the choice to go back with that experience. it's not a possibility, it is i was imprisoned as an innocent person and i just can't relive that. i don't think i'm going to be put back in prison. i think we're going to win. that's why i'm fighting this fight. that's why i continue to put forgot the argument in court.

>> but you know by saying i will not go back there people will say it's a sign of guilt. she doesn't want to stand trial.

>> i look at it as an admission of innocence to be honest. besides the fact that there's so many factors that are not allowing me to go back. financial ones. ones where i am going to school. i want the court to proceed without distraction. i was imprisoned as an innocent person and that -- it's common sense not to go back.

>> if i'm the prosecutor, though, i think you're handing me an opportunity, you know? first of all, you don't get a chance to make a plea for your innocence the way you did in italian the last time around.

>> right.

>> and if i'm the prosecutor as i'm telling the court about your truth worthiness and the character issues i get to point at an empty chair and look and say look she didn't even care enough to come back and stand trial.

>> and that drives me crazy. i understand that risk but what is being on trial here is not my character. it shouldn't be. what should be on trial is the facts of the case and if you look at the facts of the case, there's proof of my innocence in there being -- there's no trace of me in the room where my friend was murdered. there's traces all over the place of the man who actually did this. he was convicted. his dna was everywhere and it's impossible for me to have participated in this crime if there's no trace of me.

>> you said you still have faith in the italian legal system . the justice system . that's the system that convicted you the first time and overturned the conviction on appeal and then ordered a new trial. how do you still have faith in a system that's gone back and forth like that?

>> well, two judges looked at this case. and they saw that i was innocent. they acquitted me for being innocent. in italy you can be acquitted both ways. you can be acquitted for not enough evidence to prove your guilt and you can be acquitted for being innocent. they found me innocent. that renewed my faith in the justice system . at this point, it's also -- people told me why do you even keep fighting? i believe that that is possible. i believe that people who really care about justice and who really look at this without prejudice are going to come to the same conclusion.

>> before i ask you the next question, do you mind sticking around for a few minutes? can i continue this in a few minutes.

>> sure.

>> let me end with this and we'll bring you back. how are you going to keep one this trial? is there a feed you'll be able to see each day. you'll be going to school. are you going to watch it every day?

>> i'm not quite sure about watching it. i'm definitely going to be in contact with my lawyers so what i am plan as good that they will call me for every break that happens during a single court session. they'll call me. tell me what's happening.

>> will you have input? will you make suggestions?

>> well, i'm trying to figure out how this will be because during court i would listen and i would say well that person is saying something that's completely inaccurate can you ask them a question and i won't be there this time. i'm really not sure what itself going to look like.