Sunday, January 17, 2016

My Thoughts on "Making a Murderer"

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Oh man am I tired!  I literally stayed up all night binge watching the Netflix series called "Making A Murderer".  It popped up in my list of recommended shows a while ago but I just scrolled past it without a second thought. Imagine my surprise when all of a sudden it started getting mentioned on various news outlets, radio broadcasts, and all over my twitter feed. I had heard from several friends that it was worth watching because it would blow my mind to see the way this man, Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, were being treated by the police and court system in Wisconsin.

So, I watched it. I have no words to describe all the different emotions I felt during the episodes.  The most shocking thing that I discovered first was that at 23 Steven was found guilty of a violent crime involving rape that he never committed! The footage from court appearances and interviews show right from the start that he said he was innocent. He had over 20 witnesses to prove his alibi and they still put him in jail for 18 years. His release was due to some modern updates to the way DNA was able to be tested now as opposed to in the 80's.  Then it turns out that the whole time this man was being arrested and sitting in jail that the sheriff's department knew of another suspect who turned out to be the predator. Flash forward 18 years and he is a free man who is reunited with his family, has a new girlfriend, and is really getting a new start on life.

What happens next is just so unexpected that you really will have to watch the documentary series yourself and decide what you think happened. I do not want to get too detailed because there is just so much info to process. Steven decides the state should be held accountable for wrongful imprisonment and make sure laws are developed to prevent other innocent people from going through what he did. They get a bill passed and it was even named after him, however the matter of the settlement asked for became a problem. It seems pretty clear based on the documentary that the state did not want to admit the case had been handled improperly and the amount of the money was going to have to be footed by the state and sheriff's dept. itself instead of any insurance companies. This is where it all goes bananas. There is a young photographer who goes missing sometime after visiting Steven Avery's home/family salvage yard to take photos for an auto magazine. Next thing you know Steven is arrested as well as his 16 year old nephew for homicide.  I know there are a lot of various opinions and thoughts on what happened and who did it. I have made my own decision after watching this film but that being said....I was not there. I can speculate just like everyone else but to me it just seems that a lot of gray area surrounded this case.  Watching the footage of the interviews just left me to question whether or not I was the only seeing the possibility that both of these men were innocent. I also could understand why the victims family was pushing the issue for the life sentence without the possibility of parole for both men.

I was left with more questions than answers after watching this show. The only thing I know for a fact was that a young woman was murdered, her body was burned in an attempt to hide the evidence, her vehicle was found on the Avery family salvage property, and there was blood in her car that included some of Steven Avery's.  I would recommend that everyone sit down and watch this because it shines a light on some serious issues and flaws within our judicial system, especially in small towns where everyone knows everyone.

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