As the election results continued to trickle in late Tuesday night, Amanda Knox, the Seattle woman accused of killing her roommate during a semester abroad at the university, suggested that whatever the outcome of the race, the next presidential term would not be “as bad” as her four-year stay in an Italian prison.
“Whatever happens, the next four years can’t be as bad as the four years of study abroad I did in Italy, can they? Knox posted on Twitter just before midnight Eastern Time.
Her tweet almost immediately reaped backlashes from social media users. Hundreds used the post’s comment section to express their disapproval, some pointing to the high stakes of another Donald Trump presidency for many in the United States.
Since his election in 2016, Trump’s public comments about women, color and immigrant communities have fueled divisions across the country. In addition, some said that his political decisions, including efforts to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, build a U.S.-Mexico border wall, overthrow Roe v. Wade, and impose restrictions on military personnel who are transsexual, pose a real threat to the lives and livelihoods of Americans.
Whatever happens, the next four years can’t be as bad as the four years of study abroad I did in Italy, can they?
– Amanda Knox (@amandaknox) November 4, 2020
Others, who responded to Knox’s tweet in his commentary section late Tuesday evening, objected to the perceived light-heartedness of feeling, given the gravity of this year’s election and their experiences in Italy. Knox became the focus of worldwide headlines after she was convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007 in Perugia, where she and Knox studied as exchange students at the nearby university. The two women were roommates, and Knox was quickly implicated in the death of the British woman.
Kercher’s high-profile case was investigated en masse, and with it Knox’s involvement in the crime. She was released in 2015 after four years in prison. Knox’s story has received public support and condemnation. Among the criticisms that circulated during her trials and after her acquittal were insinuations that Knox lacked remorse or that she did not recognize the gravity of the crime of which she was accused.
Nevertheless, many pointed to the lack of sufficient evidence linking her to Kercher’s death and the role of the media in manipulating public perception of her. A 2016 Netflix documentary about Knox’s time in Italy highlighted the controversy surrounding the case.
Knox fought Trump publicly in early 2017 after it was reported that the president was “very angry” when he learned that she had voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election, having openly supported her dismissal years earlier. In an editorial published by the Los Angeles Times some six months after Trump’s first term in office, Knox described his supposed loyalty expectations as “undemocratic and dangerous” and asked, “What do I owe him?
Washington Newsday turned to Knox’s representative to comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.