Netflix’s Making A Murderer

There is going to be a bunch of spoilers in this, so if you’ve not watched it and you don’t want to know what’s going on before you do, stop reading now!!

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I’ve just finished watching “Making A Murderer” and I was absolutely addicted to it.  We binge watched the first 6 episodes on Friday, but have only had chance to watch the rest one at a time which was incredibly frustrating!

Here is my overriding thought:  We will never know for certain whether Steven Avery is guilty or not.  The mishandling of the investigation has ensured that.  It should never have been taken fully through the courts.  The judge should have looked at the critical errors made, and acquitted.  Not great if he is guilty, but those problems plus the grandstanding of the prosecutors made it impossible for him to have a fair and just trial.

So many people have been spouting on about his innocence but you just can’t know from watching a very one sided TV documentary, no matter how good it is.  The nature of the documentary is to take you on a journey in whichever direction the filmmaker wants.  This was made in Steven Avery’s defense.  There was hundreds of hours of the court proceedings missing.  You only have part of the evidence.

That said, WTF?!?!?

I’m not a lawyer, and I’ve never been a police officer.  I have also never been in forensics or psychology.  I am a complete lay-person.  But are you actually kidding me!?  There are so many flaws in this process it’s just unbelievable.

The one that has upset me the most is the unaccompanied interview of Brendan Dassey.  At 16 years old, and being pulled out of a special ed class at school, he should never have been interviewed without a responsible adult with him.  How did the highly experienced police officers miss that he had a low IQ.  Whilst a low IQ does not mean that a person doesn’t know right and wrong, it does mean that – well in this case – the person is easily confused and easily lead.

Also, how was found fit to be tried in an adult court?  I know it’s about the gravity of the crime and the charges, but still.  There is something deeply unsettling about prosecuting a 16yr old with special needs in an adult court.

Don’t even get me started with the jury system.  This is about any court that has a system where your fate is decided by “12 of your peers”, not just this case.

I did jury service once.  It was terrifying.  Some people think because they have seen CSI or Law & Order, they know more than anyone else.  Some are also incapable of only looking at the evidence presented.  On top of that, there is no intelligence test applied to see if someone is mentally sharp enough to follow the proceedings, let alone understand the more complex parts of arguments… or even just some words that are used.

If the Averys’ and Dasseys’ are examples of the residents of the County where the jury was selected, then I don’t think it mattered how good the defense case was.

Now that little rant is over, here are a few other thoughts…

Given how grubby and untidy the houses were on every single shot you saw of them, how on earth was Brendan’s statement used against both him and Steven when there wasn’t a shred of blood evidence anywhere?  No way that they could have cleaned but left everything so unkempt.  Nor could she have been shot in the garage where the bullet was found.  Same again.  Piles and piles of junk.  Floors with years of grime.  You could only have cleaned that scene up if you were a specialist, and then it would be super obvious that it had been done compared to the rest of the place.

How was Steven’s the only DNA found on the keys?  She’s had that car for 4 years, but it was literally only Steven Avery’s that was found.  How is that possible?!  It’s not.

Why were the officers of Manitowoc County allowed anywhere near the search?  Given the situation that surrounded Steven Avery, and the ongoing civil court case against them, they should have been entirely hands off, especially the officers sited in the compensation claim.

Why were the prosecution allowed to use the non-substantiated blood analysis test to prove that it wasn’t taken from the test tube?  If the test cannot be proven accurate by a separate team of experts, or having a proven track record, then how were the results admissible as evidence?

Why, when they are looking for evidence of a body, did they not do a section search of the bonfire pit, so they could ascertain the position of the body or even if it had been the primary site for the body being burnt?

The land wasn’t Steven Avery’s.  It was a family plot.  Why did the search and investigation appear to bypass the rest of the family?  There were enough men who had full access to the entire area.  Why did the investigators go straight for Steven again?

Why weren’t the defense team allowed to offer different suspects and explore those avenues?  Is it because it may expose too many gaps in the investigation, and the fact they went straight for Steven Avery?  They say “because the defendant does not contend any of the other persons present at the Avery property on October 31, 2005, had a motive to murder Teresa Halbach or commit the other crimes alleged to have been committed against her.”  Well, he contends that he didn’t do it and had no motive either, so that wasn’t the best thought out reasoning from the judge.

I really and truly do not know how the judge allowed this through.  It is baffling and an embarrassment to the Wisconsin legal system.

If this achieves nothing else and Steven Avery remains convicted of the murder of Teresa Halback, I hope that this documentary has highlighted the enough failures within the justice system that procedures are put in place to ensure something like this never happens again.

To end this mini-rant, I would also like to ask you to take a moment to think about/pray for Teresa Halbach’s family.  They must being going through hell at the moment having all this dragged back up, and the men they believe responsible for murdering their daughter/sister/niece, receiving a huge outpouring of public sympathy.  Those poor people.

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