“Making a Murderer” AKA “Making a Corrupted Law Enforcement System”

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Making a Murderer has taken Netflix, and the entire cyber world, by storm. This ten-episode documentary, created by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, traces the life of an on-again, off-again inmate named Steven Avery through his incarceration, freedom, and repeated incarceration. This controversial documentary has stirred up many questions regarding false imprisonment and corruption within the law enforcement system, and nobody can stop talking about it.

Truth be told, the true story behind what happened to the victim of the second recognized imprisonment, Theresa Halbach, will probably never be revealed to the world, but the morals of the people in charge of incarcerating Steven Avery can easily be challenged. And it has been. The two most shocking and skin-crawling problems within this documentary fall under the fields of the law enforcement and justice system, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide what or who you believe was in the wrong.

For those who don’t know, Steven Avery is a man from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who served eighteen years of his life for the attempted murder and sexual assault of a woman, although he didn’t commit it. The police in the county knew of Steven Avery and believed he was an outcast and the type of man who fit this bill, so they brought him in for questioning, despite the fact he had an alibi. The woman he allegedly assaulted misidentified him as her attacker, and this bias and mistake on the woman’s part led to eighteen years of his life being taken from him.

After new DNA evidence was revealed, Steven Avery was exonerated. Due to this false imprisonment, he sued the county for 36 million dollars. However, this lawsuit was soon halted due to a timely accusation of the murder of a woman by the name of Theresa Halbach, who was last known to be with him before her disappearance. Throughout the investigation into his part in the murder, the Sheriff’s Department of Manitowoc played an avid role in searching his house and in helping with the investigation.

Here are the facts. The law enforcement in the town was horrified that they falsely convicted Steven Avery in the first conviction. However, their bias towards him and the person they believed he was stood strong. People began to see the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department as corrupt and that their work was under par. The county itself was being sued for $36 million. When Steven Avery was being accused for this crime, the Sheriff’s Department helped with the search of the house. After Avery’s room was searched repeatedly, a pair of car keys (to none other than Theresa Halbach’s car) were found by a member of the Sheriff’s Department. It is possible that the Sheriff’s Department planted evidence to secure a conviction and clear their name. Nothing can be proved for certain, but the evidence is all laid out on who found what.

Regardless of if all this information is true, the entire justice system seems to be at fault. This can primarily be seen in the case of Brendan Dassey, the nephew of Steven Avery who confessed to being an accomplice to Avery in the murder. Although Dassey confessed, it is evident in the confession tapes that he was being coerced into saying what the police wanted to hear. It is clear he was being manipulated, and he didn’t know some of the information until he was asked about it repeatedly. Along with all of this, a blood sample that was already being kept of Avery’s blood was found tampered with, which would prove why Avery’s blood was in Theresa Halbach’s car. The evidence against Avery throughout this trial can almost be justified, which shows all the justice system had was probable cause against him.

Ultimately, regardless of whether or not Avery did it, there are many gaps in the evidence of the trial; because of this, it is easy to say they were convicted due to probable cause. It is just as easy to say Brendan Massey and Steven Avery were responsible as it is to say they were framed, and it is not clear as to who is right and who is wrong. Looking past the situation itself, the bias the Sheriff’s department had against Avery and the gaps within the trial are fairly clear. Steven Avery had very bad luck in his first conviction, and there’s a good chance he had bad luck again when he was convicted  of murdering Theresa Halbach. It’s up to you to decide whether the law enforcement in the town was just doing its job, or if it stepped way across the line.  However, the facts in this case are facts, and Steven Avery is currently spending life in prison despite them.