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Z

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How "making a murderer" went wrong
« on: January 23, 2016, 01:00:23 PM »

Dead Certainty

How “Making a Murderer” goes wrong.
BY  KATHRYN SCHULZ
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/01/25/dead-certainty?intcid=mod-most-popular




Argosy began in 1882 as a magazine for children and ceased publication ninety-six years later as soft-core porn for men, but for ten years in between it was the home of a true-crime column by Erle Stanley Gardner, the man who gave the world Perry Mason. In eighty-two novels, six films, and nearly three hundred television episodes, Mason, a criminal-defense lawyer, took on seemingly guilty clients and proved their innocence. In the magazine, Gardner, who had practiced law before turning to writing, attempted to do something similar—except that there his “clients” were real people, already convicted and behind bars. All of them met the same criteria: they were impoverished, they insisted that they were blameless, they were serving life sentences for serious crimes, and they had exhausted their legal options. Gardner called his column “The Court of Last Resort.”


To help investigate his cases, Gardner assembled a committee of crime experts, including a private detective, a handwriting analyst, a former prison warden, and a homicide specialist with degrees in both medicine and law. They examined dozens of cases between September of 1948 and October of 1958, ranging from an African-American sentenced to die for killing a Virginia police officer after a car chase—even though he didn’t know how to drive—to a nine-fingered convict serving time for the strangling death of a victim whose neck bore ten finger marks.


The man who didn’t know how to drive was exonerated, at least partly thanks to coverage in “The Court of Last Resort,” as were many others. Meanwhile, the never terribly successful Argosy also got a reprieve. “No one in the publishing field had ever considered the remote possibility that the general reading public could ever be so interested in justice,” Gardner wrote in 1951. “Argosy’s circulation began to skyrocket.” Six years later, the column was picked up by NBC and turned into a twenty-six-episode TV series.
Although it subsequently faded from memory, “The Court of Last Resort” stands as the progenitor of one of today’s most popular true-crime subgenres, in which reporters, dissatisfied with the outcome of a criminal case, conduct their own extrajudicial investigations. Until recently, the standout representatives of this form were “The Thin Blue Line,” a 1988 Errol Morris documentary about Randall Dale Adams, who was sentenced to death for the 1976 murder of a police officer; “Paradise Lost,” a series of documentaries by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky about three teen-agers found guilty of murdering three second-grade boys in West Memphis in 1993; and “The Staircase,” a television miniseries by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade about the novelist Michael Peterson, found guilty of murdering his wife in 2001. Peterson has been granted a new trial. Randall Dale Adams was exonerated a year after “The Thin Blue Line” was released. Shortly before the final “Paradise Lost” documentary was completed, in 2011, all three of its subjects were freed from prison on the basis of DNA evidence.



In the past fifteen months, this canon has grown considerably in both content and prestige. First came “Serial,” co-created by Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder, which revisited the case of Adnan Syed, convicted for the 1999 murder of his high-school classmate and former girlfriend, eighteen-year-old Hae Min Lee. That was followed by Andrew Jarecki’s “The Jinx,” a six-part HBO documentary that, uncharacteristically for the genre, sought to implicate rather than exonerate its subject, Robert Durst. A New York real-estate heir, Durst was acquitted in one murder case, is currently awaiting trial in another, and has long been suspected in the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen Durst.




The latest addition to this canon is Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos’s “Making a Murderer,” a ten-episode Netflix documentary that examines the 2007 conviction of a Wisconsin man named Steven Avery. Like the prisoners featured in “The Court of Last Resort,” Avery is a poor man serving time for a violent crime that he insists he didn’t commit. The questions his story raises, however, are not just about his own guilt and innocence. Nearly seventy years have passed since Erle Stanley Gardner first tried a criminal case before the jury of the general public. Yet we still have not thought seriously about what it means when a private investigative project—bound by no rules of procedure, answerable to nothing but ratings, shaped only by the ethics and aptitude of its makers—comes to serve as our court of last resort.


If you know anything about “Making a Murderer,” you know that Steven Avery has a particularly troubling and convoluted relationship with the criminal-justice system. In July of 1985, Avery was picked up by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department after a woman named Penny Beerntsen was brutally attacked while out for a run in a Wisconsin state park. Beerntsen, who had been conscious throughout most of the attack, deliberately sought to memorize her assailant’s features, and subsequently picked Avery out of both a photo array and a live lineup. At trial six months later, Avery was found guilty and sentenced to thirty-two years in prison. He served eighteen of those before being exonerated by DNA testing, a technology not available at the time of the trial. That DNA test also identified Beerntsen’s actual assailant: a man named Gregory Allen, who was, by then, imprisoned for another assault.



This was bad news for the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department. As the public learned soon after the exoneration, local police had gone to the sheriff’s department within days after the attack to report that Allen may have been responsible; the department, convinced that it had the right man, declined to investigate. Ten years later, while serving time, Allen confessed to the assault. Again, the sheriff’s department was alerted and, again, no one acted; Avery remained in prison for another eight years. In light of this information, he filed a lawsuit against the county for thirty-six million dollars.



In 2005, while the defendants in that civil suit were being deposed, Avery was arrested again—this time for the murder of a twenty-five-year-old photographer named Teresa Halbach. Four months later, his sixteen-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, was arrested as well, after he confessed to helping Avery rape and murder Halbach and burn her body. In 2007, after separate trials, both were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Ricciardi and Demos examine those convictions in “Making a Murderer,” and the information they present has led viewers to respond with near-universal outrage about the verdicts. Because of the pending civil litigation, the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department was supposed to have nothing to do with the Halbach investigation beyond lending any necessary equipment to the jurisdiction in charge. Yet members of the department were involved in the case at every critical juncture. One of them was allegedly left alone with Halbach’s vehicle for several hours after it was located and before Avery’s blood was discovered inside. Another found the key to Halbach’s S.U.V. in Avery’s home—in plain view, even though the property had previously been searched by other investigators six times. A third found a bullet fragment in Avery’s garage, again after the premises had been repeatedly searched. The analyst who identified Halbach’s DNA on that bullet had been instructed by a county detective to try to come up with evidence that Halbach had been in Avery’s house or garage. Perhaps most damning, the defense discovered that a vial of Avery’s blood, on file from the 1985 case, had been tampered with; the outer and inner seal on the box in which it was kept had been broken, and the vial itself had a puncture in the top, as from a hypodermic needle.


That is sobering stuff, but the most egregious misconduct shown in the documentary concerns not Avery but his nephew, Brendan Dassey—a stone-quiet, profoundly naïve, learning-disabled teen-ager with no prior criminal record, who is interrogated four times without his lawyer present. In the course of those interrogations, the boy, who earlier claimed to have no knowledge of Halbach, gradually describes an increasingly lurid torture scene that culminates in her murder by gunshot. The gun comes up only after investigators prod Dassey to describe what happened to Halbach’s head. Dassey first proposes that Avery cut off her hair, and then adds that his uncle punched her. Finally, one of the investigators, growing impatient, says, “I’m just going to come out and ask you: Who shot her in the head?” After the confession is signed, the prosecutor calls a press conference and turns Dassey’s story into the definitive account of what happened—a travesty of justice for Dassey and Avery, given the questionable nature of the interrogation, and a terrible cruelty to the Halbach family.


Dassey repeatedly recanted his confession, including in a letter to the judge and on the witness stand. But it was too late. “Put the tape of his confession in the VCR or DVD player and play it, there’s our case right there,” Halbach’s brother told the press. He was right, but he shouldn’t have been. Most people find it impossible to imagine why anyone would confess to a crime he didn’t commit, but, watching Dassey’s interrogation, it is easy to see how a team of motivated investigators could alternately badger, cajole, and threaten a vulnerable suspect into saying what they wanted to hear. When Dassey’s mother asked him how he came up with so many details if he was innocent, he said, “I guessed.” “You don’t guess with something like this, Brendan,” she replied. “Well,” he said, “that’s what I do with my homework, too.”


By  chance, I have known many of the details of the Avery case since long before the release of “Making a Murderer,” because in 2007 I spoke at length with Penny Beerntsen. At the time, I was working on a book about being wrong—about how we as a culture think about error, and how we as individuals experience it—and Beerntsen, in identifying Avery as her assailant, had been wrong in an unusually tragic and consequential way.Beerntsen had also been unusual among crime victims involved in wrongful convictions in that she had instantly accepted the DNA evidence—and, with it, her mistake. “It ain’t all her fault, you know,” Avery had said at the time of his release. “Honest mistake, you know.” But Beerntsen had felt horrifically guilty. “This might sound unbelievable,” she told me when we first talked, “but I really feel this way: the day I learned I had identified the wrong person was much worse than the day I was assaulted. My first thought was, I don’t deserve to live.” She wrote Avery a letter, apologizing to him and his family, and, concerned by the missteps and misconduct that led to his incarceration, became involved with the Innocence Project, which seeks to free the wrongfully convicted and to reform legal practices to help prevent miscarriages of justice.


Given her history, Beerntsen does not need any convincing that a criminal prosecution can go catastrophically awry. But when Ricciardi and Demos approached her about participating in “Making a Murderer” she declined, chiefly because, while her own experience with the criminal-justice system had led her to be wary of certitude, the filmmakers struck her as having already made up their minds. “It was very clear from the outset that they believed Steve was innocent,” she told me. “I didn’t feel they were journalists seeking the truth. I felt like they had a foregone conclusion and were looking for a forum in which to express it.”


Ricciardi and Demos have dismissed that idea, claiming that they simply set out to investigate Avery’s case and didn’t have a position on his guilt or innocence. Yet “Making a Murderer” never provokes the type of intellectual and psychological oscillation so characteristic of Koenig and Snyder’s “Serial.” Instead, the documentary consistently leads its viewers to the conclusion that Avery was framed by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department, and it contains striking elisions that bolster that theory. The filmmakers minimize or leave out many aspects of Avery’s less than savory past, including multiple alleged incidents of physical and sexual violence. They also omit important evidence against him, including the fact that Brendan Dassey confessed to helping Avery move Halbach’s S.U.V. into his junk yard, where Avery lifted the hood and removed the battery cable. Investigators subsequently found DNA from Avery’s perspiration on the hood latch—evidence that would be nearly impossible to plant.


Perhaps because they are dodging inconvenient facts, Ricciardi and Demos are never able to present a coherent account of Halbach’s death, let alone multiple competing ones. Although “Making a Murderer” is structured chronologically, it fails to provide a clear time line of events, and it never answers such basic questions as when, where, and how Halbach died. Potentially critical issues are raised and summarily dropped; we hear about suspicious calls to and messages on Halbach’s cell phone, but these are never explored or even raised again. In the end, despite ten hours of running time, the story at the heart of “Making a Murderer” remains a muddle. Granted, real life is often a muddle, too, especially where crime is involved—but good reporters delineate the facts rather than contribute to the confusion.



Despite all this, “Making a Murderer” has left many viewers entirely convinced that Avery was framed. After the documentary aired, everyone from high-school students to celebrities jumped on the “Free Avery and Dassey” bandwagon. In the weeks since, people involved in the conviction have been subjected to vicious and in some cases threatening messages from Netflix-watching strangers. (So have people who were not involved, including the Manitowoc Police Department, a separate entity from the county sheriff’s department.)


For those people, and for others close to the original case, “Making a Murderer” seems less like investigative journalism than like highbrow vigilante justice. “My initial reaction was that I shouldn’t be upset with the documentarians, because they can’t help that the public reacted the way that it did,” Penny Beerntsen said. “But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, Well, yeah, they do bear responsibility, because of the way they put together the footage. To me, the fact that the response was almost universally ‘Oh, my God, these two men are innocent’ speaks to the bias of the piece. A jury doesn’t deliberate twenty-some hours over three or four days if the evidence wasn’t more complex.”


“Making a Murderer” raises serious and credible allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct in the trials of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. It also implies that that misconduct was malicious. That could be true; vindictive prosecutions have happened in our justice system before and they will happen again. But the vast majority of misconduct by law enforcement is motivated not by spite but by the belief that the end justifies the means—that it is fine to play fast and loose with the facts if doing so will put a dangerous criminal behind bars


That same reasoning, with the opposite aims, seems to govern “Making a Murderer.” But while people nearly always think that they are on the side of the angels, what finally matters is that they act that way. The point of being scrupulous about your means is to help insure accurate ends, whether you are trying to convict a man or exonerate him. Ricciardi and Demos instead stack the deck to support their case for Avery, and, as a result, wind up mirroring the entity that they are trying to discredit. Partway through “Making a Murderer,” we hear a “Dateline NBC” producer discuss the death of Teresa Halbach in disturbingly chipper tones. “This is the perfect ‘Dateline’ story,” she says. “It’s a story with a twist, it grabs people’s attention. . . . Right now murder is hot, that’s what everyone wants, that’s what the competition wants, and we’re trying to beat out the other networks to get that perfect murder story.”


That clip, presented without context, is meant to make the “Dateline” producer look shallow and exploitative, and it does. But it is also meant to inoculate Ricciardi and Demos against the charge that they, too, are pursuing a hot murder case with a dramatic twist in order to grab people’s attention. The implication is that, unlike traditional true-crime shows—“Dateline,” “48 Hours,” “America’s Most Wanted,” “Nancy Grace”—their work is too intellectually serious to be thoughtless, too morally worthy to be cruel.


Yet the most obvious thing to say about true-crime documentaries is something that, surprisingly often, goes unsaid: they turn people’s private tragedies into public entertainment. If you have lost someone to violent crime, you know that, other than the loss itself, few things are as painful and galling as the daily media coverage, and the license it gives to strangers to weigh in on what happened. That experience is difficult enough when the coverage is local, and unimaginable when a major media production turns your story into a national pastime. “Sorry, I won’t be answering any questions because . . . TO ME ITS REAL LIFE,” the younger brother of Hae Min Lee, the murder victim in “Serial,” wrote on Reddit in 2014. “To you listeners, its another murder mystery, crime drama, another episode of CSI. You weren’t there to see your mom crying every night . . . and going to court almost every day for a year seeing your mom weeping, crying, and fainting. You don’t know what we went through.”


Like the Lee family, the Halbachs and Penny Beerntsen declined to participate in a journalistic investigation into their personal tragedies. But no one in such a situation has any real way to opt out. “Making a Murderer” takes Halbach’s death as its subject (her life is represented by a few photos and video clips, which do not rise above the standard mise en scène of murder shows), and footage of her family appears in almost every episode. Beerntsen, for her part, was dismayed to discover that the filmmakers had obtained a photograph of her battered face from the 1985 attack and used it without her knowledge. “I don’t mind looking at it, but my children should not have to relive that,” she said. “And everything we’re dealing with, the Halbachs are dealing with a thousandfold.”


This is not to suggest that reporting on violence is always morally abhorrent. Crimes themselves vary widely, as does crime coverage, and it is reasonable to hold that at some point the demands of private grief are outweighed by the public good. But neither “Serial” (which is otherwise notable for its thoroughness) nor “Making a Murderer” ever addresses the question of what rights and considerations should be extended to victims of violent crime, and under what circumstances those might justifiably be suspended. Instead, both creators and viewers tacitly dismiss the pain caused by such shows as collateral damage, unfortunate but unavoidable. Here, too, the end is taken to justify the means; someone else’s anguish comes to seem like a trifling price to pay for the greater cause a documentary claims to serve.


But what, exactly, is that cause in “Making a Murderer”? As of January 12th, more than four hundred thousand people had signed a petition to President Obama demanding that “Steven Avery should be exonerated at once by pardon.” That outrage could scarcely have been more misdirected. For one thing, it was addressed to the wrong person: Avery was convicted of state crimes, not federal ones, and the President does not have the power to pardon him. For another, it was the wrong demand. “Making a Murderer” may have presented a compelling case that Avery (and, more convincingly, Dassey) deserved a new trial, but it did not get anywhere close to establishing that either one should be exonerated.


The petition points to another weakness of “Making a Murderer”: it is far more concerned with vindicating wronged individuals than with fixing the system that wronged them. The series presents Avery’s case as a one-off—a preposterous crusade by a grudge-bearing county sheriff’s department to discredit and imprison a nemesis. (Hence the ad-hominem attacks the show has inspired.) But you don’t need to have filed a thirty-six-million-dollar suit against law enforcement to be detained, denied basic rights, and have evidence planted on your person or property. Among other things, simply being black can suffice. While Avery’s story is dramatic, every component of it is sadly common. Seventy-two per cent of wrongful convictions involve a mistaken eyewitness. Twenty-seven per cent involve false confessions. Nearly half involve scientific fraud or junk science. More than a third involve suppression of evidence by police.



Those statistics reflect systemic problems. Eyewitness testimony is dangerously persuasive to juries, yet it remains admissible in courts almost without caveat. Some interrogation methods are more likely than others to produce false confessions, yet there are no national standards; fewer than half of states require interrogations to be videotaped, and all of them allow interrogators to lie to suspects. With the exception of DNA evidence (which emerged from biology, not criminology), forensic tests are laughably unscientific; no independent entity exists to establish that such tests are reliable before their results are admissible as evidence.


It is largely because of these systemic weaknesses in our judicial system that we find ourselves with a court of last resort. While that court cannot directly operate the levers of the law, it has drawn attention to cases that need review, and innocent people have been freed as a result. Yet in the decades since Erle Stanley Gardner launched his column, none of the forces that put those people in prison in the first place have changed for the better. Nor have we evolved a set of standards around extrajudicial investigations of criminal cases. However broken the rules that govern our real courts, the court of last resort is bound by no rules at all.


That does not automatically compromise independent investigations into crime; some remarkable and important work has been done in the tradition of the court of last resort. But it does enable individual journalists to proceed as they choose, and the choices made by Ricciardi and Demos fundamentally undermine “Making a Murderer.” Defense attorneys routinely mount biased arguments on behalf of their clients; indeed, it is their job to make the strongest one-sided case they can. But that mandate is predicated on the existence of a prosecution. We make moral allowances for the behavior of lawyers based on the knowledge that the jury will also hear a strong contrary position. No such structural protection exists in our extrajudicial courts of last resort, and Ricciardi and Demos chose not to impose their own.


Toward the end of the series, Dean Strang, Steven Avery’s defense lawyer, notes that most of the problems in the criminal-justice system stem from “unwarranted certitude”—what he calls “a tragic lack of humility of everyone who participates.” Ultimately, “Making a Murderer” shares that flaw; it does not challenge our yearning for certainty or do the difficult work of helping to foster humility. Instead, it swaps one absolute for another—and, in doing so, comes to resemble the system it seeks to correct. It is easy to express outrage, comforting to have closure, and satisfying to know all the answers. But, as defense lawyers remind people every day, it is reasonable to doubt.


« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 05:46:04 PM by Z »

Offline theSWPK

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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 04:43:11 PM »
This is unreadable to me.
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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2016, 05:46:58 PM »
I added some extra spaces.  If it is still unreadable I would check out the link to the original article.

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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2016, 02:13:04 PM »
I just started to watch it on Netflix.

It is pretty interesting, but I have only watched the first episode. Don't give out any spoilers.
I have read about the incidents involving Steven Avery and others convicted of murders they say they didn't commit, and the same factor in many of the cases are that the accused have low IQ's. Could that be the problem with them being convicted and sent away? Maybe...I am going to keep watching about Steven Avery.

I don't know if anyone has watched the Paradise Lost documentaries about the West Memphis 3.
It is 3 documentaries about the 3 teens who supposedly murdered 3 little boys in West Memphis, Arkansas.
All 3 of the Paradise Lost documentaries are pretty good watching if you have not seen them. 
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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2016, 06:07:00 PM »
@candy the WM3 documentries were pretty good. Damien Echols wrote a book called life after death, I've got
A copy, haven't read it yet. I'll post when I get around to it.
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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 11:37:52 PM »
I binge-watched it when it first came out. What this article hits on but not enough is that it is all but impossible to get a fair trial in the US these days unless you are wealthy (and White) and those are the people least often charged with crimes.

The travesty of the Avery case is the all too human flaw of juming to a conclusion then finding "evidence" or "proof" that supports the preconception and the deliberate or accidental ignoring of anything that doesn't support it. This happens in small communities all over the country The local cops all  "know" who's "good" and who's "bad" and when there's a crime they round up "the usual suspects."

It doen't really matrer (in the big picture) if Avry and Dorssy actually killed Haibach. What matters is that we have a flawed and corrupt "justice" system that ironically was weighted to prevent false convictions and abuse of state power by men who had just fought a revolution to escape those things. The Bill of Rights makes it harder for law enforcement to catch and prosecute people to protect the average person from an abusive state.

Avery and his nephew may be guilty we live in a society so conditioned to believe that anyone accused by the police is guilty, that the pseudo-science they use to convince judges and juries of the accused guilt is real and infallible when it isn't.

Even if they ARE guilty they were still wronged by a corrupt legal system and if so their guilt doesn't justify the corruption.


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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 06:18:01 AM »
SPARKS...I heard that he wrote a book. I have seen some of his artwork as well and it is not bad.
He seems to be moving on with his life. Good for him! I may just get the book and read it.
I have watched about 3 parts of the documentary on Avery now. Poor guy. Must be hard to get out of prison and go right back in.

It is so sad to see that those who are deemed to have a low IQ can be arrested, found guilty, and spend a life time in prison when they are innocent.
Sometimes there is no justice for those who need the system the most. It seems the system works for the rich or those who are great at manipulating the system.
I am going to keep watching the Avery doc.
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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 01:30:44 PM »
How we handle, the mentally challenged, low IQ, and poor in this country is absolutely awful. It is hard to even think about it without getting a physical symptom of disgust. What pisses me off the most is when people blindly defend it and think that we need to do what were doing now on a larger scale, and that we need more people locked up to stop crime. The stupidity and privilege is so aggravating, how these people can justify, defend, and think its okay. They want people locked up for life or killed for doing shit they themselves have done.

The hypocrites are the worst, and I will never understand it. How can you throw someone in a cage, take all of their rights away, and basically torture them for something that you have done and still go on defend it. They knew it was against the law so it doesn't matter if what they did was right or wrong or affected anyone they deserve to be tortured and thrown in a cage like an animal. The way they pick and choose who should get punished and allowing rich people, cops, and elected officials to get away with anything and not be held up to the same standards.

I have personally seen tons of blatant racism, and people getting much worse punishment for the same crime just because they are poor, or a minority. Rich people and cops get to do whatever they want with out consequences even kill people and its just fine with everyone or it doesn't directly involve them so they don't care. I will never understand people who think our criminal justice system is okay and who want us to continue and expand it.

It is hard for me to watch some judges in the court room, they hand out prison sentences to everyone for anything and act high and mighty and believe they have the right to tell people what to do and torture people for doing harmless things or things they don't agree with. Every time I have been in a court I have seen utter bs from these assholes. They sent an 70 yr old dude to prison for a few years because he got a dui and it was his 3rd one even though his last one was 25 years ago and the other one was 6 years before that.

Last time I was in court there was a mentally ill guy who was poor, had a shit life where he was abandoned, abused, and never taken care of, who was living on the streets, and because he was sleeping in an abandoned building they gave him 5 years in prison. Where is the justice in that and wtf is the point of that? Why do we think its a good idea to cage up millions of people to punish them instead of helping these people and making it so these things happen less.

The same judge had given him 3 years in prison before that for some other victimless crime and he tried to kill himself. The guy clearly had a low IQ and was mentally ill on top of a life full of abuse, and because he couldn't afford to pay rent somewhere and had no one and no where to turn to was sent to prison. So yeah we should spend 40,000 a year to punish him in a prison instead of trying to help him.

Solitary confinement is another thing that I find deplorable yeah lets put a guy in a bathroom sized cage for 5 years where he has zero contact with anyone or anything and then put him on the streets and see what happens that will surely correct his bad behavior. The fact that most the guys in prison and especially in solitary confinement are mentally ill its sickening, why would anyone think that is okay? Americans are so dumb it pisses me off. Not to say other countries aren't and don't have any problems but damn some americans are just idiotic assholes.

I know if I don't like it I should leave, but unfortunately my family lives here and every other country thinks were a bunch of assholes because we try to police the world and tell everyone what to do.

I think the thing that most people look over about Making a Murderer is that it isn't just a show to proclaim Steven Avery's innocence. It is about all of the problems that we have in our current judicial system and how harmful they are. I think people who hate it and/or think that steven avery is either guilty or deserves to be in prison either way completely over look the reason behind the docuseries. It is to shed light on our judicial system and brings attention to how devastating it is, how often and easily it can ruin you or someones life.

I hope that we see major change, it is nice to see that some people are getting behind it and that our incarceration rates aren't increasing at the same stupid level they have been since 1980. I saw a show called billions behind bars last night about how some places have been told to slow the incarceration rate down because they are spending billions each year on it and will have an inmate population increase of 20% in 5 years which will bankrupt the state.

So now they are slowing down on giving everyone a long sentence and giving people the tools and chance to stay out of prison and to not reoffend. There are a like 20 prisons that have been built since 2000 that are completely empty which is awesome, one town in montana was told that their inmate population would increase 16% in 3 years and decided to spend 175 million on a prison for their town. The company told them if the prison pop. didn't increase they would send inmates from different prisons.

The place hasn't had one inmate since it opened, and the town that was already struggling was stuck with the 175 million dollar tab for it. The company that sold it to them has had that happen like 6 times, where they made millions off building a state of the art prison promising tons of money and jobs for the community and the city was stuck with a $200 million check and no one has been in the prison.

Hopefully our prison population drops by 500,000 a year for the next few years, and we kick corporations out of it and stop profiting on it cause it's having a terrible effect not only on the US as a whole and our taxes/budget but on our work force and other companies can't compete with the cheap prison labor and are being forced out of business because the prisons have ventured into their industry.

Z

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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 03:46:40 PM »
What really bothers me is the false confessions.  It is a well known phenomenon, but the police continue to use psychological tactics to elicit confessions from people.  Especially those with low iq who might not realize exactly what is happening, and are more susceptible to manipulation. 


I think Avery might have done it, or he might not have done it.  I have no question in my mind that his nephew Brandon had nothing at all to do with it. It is a travesty of justice.  They even argued in Avery's trial that he was the sole perpetrator, and the physical evidence contradicts so much of what Dassey said.  The forced confession alone was enough to imprison him for the majority of his life, and it is a severe failure of the justice system that let this happen, and prevents him from getting a fair appeal.


This is the long form of the police interview where he first confesses to the whole thing. He  didn't even realize he would be arrested, and seemed to just be trying to help the police with what they want.  They manipulated him the whole way through it, and it is obscene.





It really starts at 5:30, and is very long.  It is also infuriating.

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Re: How "making a murderer" went wrong
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2016, 11:35:39 PM »
That is so hard to watch, they should just go hang those cops, that is the most deplorable thing I have seen in a while. It makes my blood boil every time they say we know exactly what happened so don't lie to us" if you knew exactly what happened why are you even talking to him you scum bags. "only honesty will set you free, your mom told us you'd be honest, if you lie to us we can't go out to bat for you" seriously?! By going out to bat do you mean recommending me a life sentence instead of a death sentence.

They shouldn't be able to lie to anyone no matter the cause, and especially not to a kid who has mental health issues. This make me want to believe in god so that they I know that they are going to spend eternity in hell. How can they sleep at night knowing that they single-handidly ruin a childs life? I wish the that the worst torture imaginable is used on them until they die for this, there is no excuse they are the same as child murderers since that is essentially what they did.

If that dassey kid came out and said that he killed her by himself I still think that he should be set free. It such a shame that revenge brutality is illegal because there should be special cases for these kind of assholes. They are the kind of people who should be tortured to death and revived only to be tortured more, I just can't believe some people.

This reminds me of the kenneth young, poor black kid who was charged as an adult and given a life sentence when he was 15 for crimes he committed when he was 14. His mom was addicted to crack and with no dad, he committed 3 armed robberies with a 24 year old guy who he was living with who threatened to kill him and his family if he didnt come with him on the robberies. He never had the gun, no one was hurt, and he stopped a woman from being raped by the guy who made him do it, but was still given a life sentence.

There is a PBS documentary about him from a few years ago about him trying to get an appeal, and his appeal for a new trial was granted and I will let you guys figure out the rest of what happened. It is so sad this poor guy has been in prison since he was 14, this happened in 2000 and his retrial was in 2014. This kind of shit makes me sick and wonder how and why we let our justice system get to this point and have not done a damn thing about it except make it worse and give these asshats more power to take more rights away from us.

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