Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who has appealed the pair's most recent murder conviction in the internationally famous case, earned his degree in information technology this week. In his thesis, he found himself innocent.
"I did an experiment on myself," he told Italy's ANSA news agency, ABC News reported
Wednesday. The thesis was written in English and defended verbally in Italian.
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By using special software to crawl social media sites, Sollecito, 30, examined mentions of his name and found that they were more often correlated with the word "innocent" than "guilty." Professors at Verona University gave it a passing grade.
The most recent Italian court to assess his case however, found him and Knox — the American college student who lives in Seattle — guilty of murdering Knox's former roommate, Meredith Kercher, in the Italian apartment they shared as students. Kercher was found dead with her throat cut in 2007. The pair have undergone a trial and two appeals, being found guilty, not guilty, then guilty again.
If the latest conviction stands, Sollecito could face 25 years in prison, while Knox could be sentenced to 28.5 years, in absentia.
Earlier this month, Sollecito and his lawyer called a press conference in Rome, where he said he still believed "to this day in the innocence of Amanda Marie Knox" but signaled a break from their six years of joint defense, adding, "But obviously, in what I read in the court papers, I register certain anomalies."
According to the New York Daily News
, Sollecito and Knox, now 27, had dated for only a week before the murder of then-21-year-old Kercher.
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