Americans overwhelmingly know of Amanda Knox – and sympathize with her.
Seventy-two percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’ve heard or read about the American college student accused in the 2007 murder of her roommate in Italy. And 65 percent of them see her sympathetically, three times the number with a negative opinion.
Knox’s first news interview since her release, with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, airs April 30, the publication date of her book, “Waiting to Be Heard,” giving her side of the case in which she was first convicted of murder, then two years later acquitted, only to have her acquittal reversed and a retrial ordered last month. Now a student in Washington state, she’s seen as unlikely to return to Italy for trial.
Perhaps surprisingly given her age (now 25), the case has drawn less attention among young adults than their elders; 46 percent of those under 30 say they’ve heard or read about it, vs. eight in 10 Americans age 40 and older. The saga also is better known to more-educated and higher-income adults. All these may reflect news consumption habits.
Among those who’ve heard or read about her case, sympathy for Knox reaches 73 percent among adults age 50 and older, compared with 56 percent of those younger than 50, a sharp difference. Seeing her “very” sympathetically also rises substantially among older adults, peaking at 47 percent among seniors, compared with 17 percent among those under 40.
One possible reason: Fifty and up is about the age at which an adult might have a daughter, or granddaughter, Knox’s age.
Finally, in perhaps a critical reflection on her Italian prosecutors, just 22 percent of Americans describe themselves as unsympathetic toward Knox, highest among less-educated adults.
METHODOLOGY – This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone April 11-14, 2013, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 1,003 adults, including landline and cell-phone-only respondents. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample, including design effect.