09/28/2011 at 12:20 PM EDT
For Amanda Knox, what she says – and how she says it – this week may determine whether she returns to the United States a free woman or spends more than two decades in an Italian prison.
The American woman who was convicted
in the brutal murder of her roommate plans to address an appeals court as early as Thursday. Her father says she's spent three months working on the most important statement of her life.
"It's going to be truly heartfelt," Curt Knox tells the Today show
." You've got a 24-year-old kid that's essentially fighting for her life and this is her last chance to actually tell the judge and jury that she truly had nothing to do with this horrific crime."
Two judges and six jurors are hearing an appeal of Amanda Knox's 2009 conviction for the 2007 killing
of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. She was sentenced to 26 years in prison.
A decision may come as early as this weekend and the prosecutor says there is a good chance Knox will go free
due to problems with DNA evidence.
Her father visited her in jail on Wednesday and tells Today
, "She was very anxious. She knows she's innocent., but to be just a couple of days away from having somebody determine your future that you have no control over is extra hard on her."