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Amanda Knox life sentence requested by prosecutors

A verdict in the appeal is expected in October.

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Amanda Knox smiles during her appeal trial in Perugia on Jan. 22, 2011. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Italian prosecutors requested Saturday that an appeals court uphold the conviction of American Amanda Knox and increase her sentence to life imprisonment.

Prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola sought the same sentence for Knox's co-defendant, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, the Associated Press reports. He also requested the court give Knox six months of daytime solitary confinement and Knox's former boyfriend Sollecito two months.

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Knox and Sollecito were convicted in December 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering British student Meredith Kercher. Kercher was found dead in the apartment she shared with Knox and other roommates in Perugia, Italy, in 2007. Kercher, who was 21, was found semi-naked with her throat slashed.

Knox was convicted and sentenced to 26 years, and Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Knox and Sollecito have always insisted they are innocent and pressed forward with an appeal of the conviction.

In Italy, prosecutors can also appeal, and they did so in this case, pushing to have the sentence increased. Life in prison is Italy's harshest punishment.

In summing up their case, the prosecutors said the case's evidence shows the pair are guilty, BBC reports. The prosecutors also defended the original DNA evidence, which has been called into question by a panel of independent experts.

Closing arguments from the lawyer representing Kercher family and the defense are to be heard next week, and a verdict is expected early next month.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/italy/110924/amanda-knox-life-sentence-requested-prosecutors