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Iain McKie

Making a Murderer

I have finally viewed the Netflix series 'Making a Murderer' which tells the detailed and complex story of the fight between the Wisconsin justice system  and Steven Avery.
Making a Murderer details the life of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man whose family owned an auto salvage yard in Manitowoc County. In 1985, Avery was arrested and convicted of the sexual assault of Penny Beerntsen, despite having an alibi. After serving 18 years in prison, Avery was exonerated with the aid of the Innocence Project, when the DNA in the case was matched to another man. After Avery was released from prison in 2003, he filed a $36 million civil lawsuit against Manitowoc County and several county officials associated with his arrest and conviction.

Two years later, Avery was re-arrested and charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach, a photographer who disappeared after photographing a vehicle at Avery's salvage yard. Bloodstains recovered from the interior of Halbach's car matched Avery's DNA. Avery maintained that the murder charge was a frameup, promulgated to discredit his pending civil case. His attorneys accused Manitowoc officials of evidence tampering after a vial of Avery's blood, stored in an evidence locker since the 1985 trial, was found with broken container seals and a puncture hole in the stopper, suggesting that blood from the vial could have been used to plant incriminating evidence in the victim's vehicle.[10] While the tampering charge was never substantiated, accusations of prosecutorial misconduct have persisted.

The internet is awash with information about the case which is still very much live.

In my opinion this case offers a riveting perspective on the problems anyone  seeking to challenge the justice system experiences in a system biased towards the state. It shows how easily the principle of the presumption of innocence can be snuffed out by  expedience and the promotion of vested interests.

It shows how the judiciary, police, politicians, prosecutors, lawyers, (both prosecution and defence), and forensic experts do, on occasions, work in concert to defeat the ends of justice or more accurately to promote their version  of it.

It shows the futility of ever accusing the police of corruption or lawyers of defective representation in a system which bends over backwards to protect its 'good name' and is perfectly prepared for the innocent to be sacrificed at this incestuous alter.

It shows how happy the system is with those who seek to shout 'conspiracy' and how difficult it finds dealing with those, who while not seeking to challenge the court's right to judge on guilt or  innocence or even to make definitive judgements themselves, calmly and forensically shine a spotlight on the inner workings of a system where the ends sadly so often justify the means.  

We are not dealing with an evil system populated by evil people  but with one which has lost sight of the need for integrity, honesty and openness and one in which personal aggrandisement, bias, prejudice and system survival means everything.

In many ways, were there consequences not so awful and profound, ‘Making a Murderer’ is like many other reality TV shows which allow us to laugh at the weaknesses of the many or stand in awe of the talents and forbearance of the few.

I would expect to have more to say about this but am interested if any readers have viewed the series and what their thoughts are.

There are many who think our judicial system is bad and I don't mean just Scotland, the whole of the UK.

If I had to stand trial anywhere, I would wish upon wish, it was not in the  USA.

I think the whole system is rotten for the most part, and the election of Judges.

This case, and a re-testing of the evidence having been ordered, may be the worst travesty of justice in American legal history.   The guy didn't even get compensation for the original wrongful conviction.

It is to be an interesting time ahead I feel.
Iain McKie

'Making a Murderer' on Netflix is well worth a look.

It shows with clarity failures that many justice systems exhibit when the judiciary and politicians allow prosecution systems to do as they like.

The ongoing enquiry by the Justice Committee into COPFS is to be applauded but will they be able to overcome the reticence that Scottish politicians have always had about questioning Crown Office and the judges.

Independence does not mean freedom from scrutiny. In fact the more independence a system has the more the need for monitoring.

Hello Iain,
I don't have Netflix, but I have watched this case for a while, and followed it via YouTube.

I shall continue to see what the eventual outcome of it is.   One of the big differences too for me, was that the nephew was interviewed at length with no, as we would call it, parent or resposnible adult present - this should never have been allowed, he was a very impressionable lad.  However, he certainly laid out his 'story' as if he was present.  There is or was a witch hunt in this case by a legal system within that state - as well as the police who simply did not want to be proved wrong, and pay compensation.  I think that's what it boils down to.

They have all calluded and conspired against Avery, I think it's as plain as the nose on my face.  I'm not sure they would have been able to do it here so easily - then again, we have seen very similar things happen.  I don't need to tell you.  

If this man is totally innocent, this must be put right, and heads should roll.

As for an Independent Scotland, you are spot on - it will make absolutely no difference at all - they will still not go against the Judiciary.
Iain McKie

Thanks Willie,

Failure to monitor the operation and administration of the courts, Crown Office and Judiciary creates a major stumbling block to justice in this country.

Monitoring does not mean control it means keeping a watching brief on the administration of these critical parts of the justice system to prevent abuse. This is clearly the government's constitutional duty.

Unfortunately the majority of lawyers will not challenge the  government and individuals and groups are becoming isolated voices as our print and other media are financially constrained and in reality rely on the politicians and prosecution system to supply more and more stories.

Investigative journalism is a dying trade unfortunately.

Whether the ongoing Justice Committee enquiry into COPFS will get anywhere remains doubtful unless someone is willing to come out and challenge the current arrogant pursuit of self interest.

Our Judiciary is almost set in stone.  They are steeped in history and tradition.

I believe this is the backbone of our legal system in Scotland, and to be honest that being so I can't see any massive changes in the future.   Some have already been made.

Ian I just don't hold out much hope. Forum Index -> Test Forum 1
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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.