51% of the British public think Amanda Knox is probably guilty – but Americans are reluctant to pick a side
After being acquitted in 2011 of the murder of British 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in Italy, the guilty verdicts against accused American murderers Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were reinstated this year. The case has been shrouded in mystery and attention, with Knox protesting her innocence from the beginning and Italian sentiment sometimes bordering on the fantastical – one Italian Lawyer described her as a "she-devil, a diabolical person focused on sex, drugs and alcohol, living life to the extreme and borderline".
The story has also often unfolded as a battle of two nations. As notable defence attorney Alan Dershowitz said: "I don't remember any case which has been as highly publicised and where the countries have taken sides… I think it's fair to say that the vast number of Americans think she is innocent and a substantial number of Italians think she is guilty''.
A new YouGov survey reveals that the British public has also formed a view. From what they know, the majority (51%) of British people think that Amanda Knox is guilty, while only 13% say she is probably innocent and a third (36%) don’t know. But in America, more (29%) think she is probably innocent than guilty (21%), while about half of the American public don't know either way.
In a further twist to the story, the judge who reinstated Amanda Knox’s conviction has been criticised for giving an interview to three Italian newspapers commenting on the case itself. The defendant’s lawyers said in response that "[t]he conviction is the result of a clear bias on the part of the judges against the defendants… and that interview proves it".