The internet has been abuzz after it collectively watched and was infuriated by the Netflix docu-series “Making a Murderer,” and as a result has put its hive mind to work on freeing what appears to be the wrongly convicted Steven Avery. The question that hangs in the air is, what if the documentary wasn’t as factual as it appeared?
The series sparked a series of petitions over the past few weeks. A Change.org petition and Whitehouse.org petition have garnered thousands of signatures and ask the President one thing: Pardon Steven Avery and hold all those who put him in prison accountable.
But there are two sides to every story, as the docu-series attempted to show us regarding Avery’s trial, and while I won’t argue that justice was not served in the case of Steven Avery, I can’t rightly ask he be pardoned either.
Prosecutor Ken Krantz recently claimed the documentary team left out key pieces of evidence which led to Avery’s inevitble conviction. The internet scrambled to figure out where the filmmakers may have gone wrong and one of the most quoted, yet perhaps the most misleading posts regarding this was released on a site called “Pajiba“.
The blog post which contains the “Evidence ‘Making a Murderer’ Didn’t Present in Steven Avery’s Murder Case” and actually contains an amalgamation of the actual evidence, internet conjecture, and here’s the important bit: Evidence that was excluded in pre-trial motions.
Even worse? There’s no distinction as to which fact is which. Only one bullet point is listed as having been excluded in pre-trial motions, but that doesn’t speak for all of the other evidence mentioned. In the end, it’s the opinion of a person who is not a lawyer, and like myself cannot speak for what is or is not admissible in regards to the trial of Avery.
In the end the only thing all of this conjecture is actually doing is preventing Avery from receiving another trial to exonerate him and his nephew Brendan Dassey. Literally every discussion online, even the documentary itself is poisoning any potential jury pool in the exact same way the press conferences regarding Dassey’s confession did prior to Avery’s initial trial. Even the former jurors who are stepping forward to claim they believe Avery was framed are adding fuel to the fire.
Additionally, petitioning the President for an out-right pardon is also the internet shooting itself in the foot. Who would have been the appropriate governing body to ask? Perhaps, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, who refused to hear both Avery and Dassey’s cases? In law, at least to me a layperson, it’s not about going straight to the top. You reserve the top for when all leads are exhausted. To my limited knowledge, would it not be best to go through the court systems first before demanding the President’s attention?
Either way, the WhiteHouse.Gov petition is only 15,000 signatures or so away from getting an actual White House response that may only serve to disappoint both the enraged docu-series watchers and even more-so Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.