Amanda Knox, once accused of murder in an infamous trial that unfolded in Italy nearly a decade ago, says that Michelle Carter needs help and sympathy, not a prison sentence.
Carter, 20, was sentenced in Taunton, Massachusetts, on Thursday to 2½ years in prison for coercing her boyfriend, 18-year-old Conrad Roy, to kill himself in 2014. Carter was 17 when Roy died.
Shortly after sentencing, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by Knox denouncing Carter’s involuntary manslaughter charges and sentencing. Knox related the trial’s publicity to her own experience as the world’s femme fatale.
“It’s hard to feel sympathy for Carter, who was wrong to instruct Roy over the phone to get back into the truck in which he was poisoning himself with carbon monoxide,” Knox wrote in the Times. “But involuntary manslaughter?”
Like Carter, Knox was under a similar spotlight throughout the late 2000s when she was convicted and sentenced in the murder of her British roommate, a fellow exchange student whom she lived with in Italy. And, like Carter, prosecutors painted Knox as a ruthless villain, which was reflected in tabloids across the globe: While Carter was cast as an attention-seeking girlfriend with no remorse, Knox was cast as a sex-crazed killer.
Knox spent four years in an Italian prison before she was acquitted and released back to the U.S. Speculation on Knox’s innocence and guilt was revived in 2016 after Netflix released a documentary detailing her trial.
Drawing from her experience as a young woman publicly accused of murder, Knox claimed that Carter was being used as a scapegoat for her boyfriend’s death.
“Carter may not be innocent in a moral or philosophical sense, but she was wrongfully convicted,” Knox said, arguing that Roy was responsible for his own death.
“We naturally want to blame someone for the murder, but we’re reluctant to further condemn the victim. This emotional paradox makes it hard for us to find closure,” Knox wrote. “But with Roy’s suicide, we have, in the person of Carter, another party to hold responsible.”