Amanda Knox’s murder trial will no doubt go down in history for the Internet frenzy it generated, but one of the key figures is already capitalizing on the case’s notoriety by writing his university thesis about the case’s social media trends, reports ABC News.
Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s ex-boyfriend and co-defendant, graduated from Verona University with an information technology degree that hinged on a final project where he ran analytics on his own name, how it was used in social media and possible influences it may have had one the outcome of the case.
Although Sollecito did not run Amanda’s more prominent name, his findings in his own study showed that more people associated his name with innocent than they did with guilty. While this isn’t exactly hard evidence to prove Knox or Sollecito are not murderers, it does offer a fascinating insight into what the way that 21st-century social media has engaged with this trial as well as other sensational trials like Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias, who were accused of killing their child and boyfriend respectively.
Sollecito wrote the thesis in English but defended it in Italian, according to Italian news agency ANSA. Although Knox has still not returned to school, this is Sollecito’s second degree. He formerly graduated from Perugia University while awaiting trial in 2008.
Amanda Knox is currently living in Seattle, with an extremely low possibility of being extradited should she face conviction in the newest ordered repeat trial for the case. Knox and Sollecito spent nearly 4 years in Italian jail including the pre-trial period and after their initial conviction in 2009. Two years later, Amanda and Raffaele were freed in an appeals trial, but last year, Knox and Sollecito’s nightmare began again when the Italian supreme court ordered a retrial.
When that retrial finished in January of this year, Amanda was sentenced to 28 years in prison and Raffaele 25 years in prison. They both appealed the decision and are free until the appeal is over. Knox was convicted in absentia as she has not returned to the country since her initial release. While Sollecito is currently walking free in Italy, Amanda has made a vow to never enter the country again.
The role of the media and specifically social media in the Amanda Knox trial has been written about extensively, both academically and by the media itself. A recent post in GroundReport.com analyzed the way Knox and her ex-boyfriend have been pitted against each other as antagonists in the trial, even when their actions were often to the contrary.
[Image Via Today.it]