A Matter of Accuracy vs. Profit
The documentary Making a Murderer follows the life of a man named Steven Avery from Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. In 1985, despite there being no physical evidence tying him to the crime and also having an alibi, he was arrested and convicted of the sexual assault and attempted murder of a woman by the name of Penny Beerntsen. In 2003, he was released due to a DNA exoneration. Then in 2005, he was re-arrested in connection with the murder of a photographer named Teresa Halbach and convicted in 2007. It was later discovered that a vial of Avery's blood from his previous charge was tampered with, suggesting that the Manitowoc police planted evidence in order to frame him. The documentary has generated considerable controversy where some have even gone so far as to draw up a petition to the White House advocating for Avery's release. I thought that this series was an incredibly poignant look into the ways that the American legal systems operate. However, as I was watching this series, I really started to question the accuracy of the details that are presented about the case. It would be easy to intentionally omit or display certain details to make a particular party seem more favorable to viewers. This is why I wonder if the documentary will truly bring out the right verdict. Are the directors and producers making it into a persuasive story so that it will "sell" or are they actually presenting cold, hard facts? Viewers should consider this before deciding whether or not Avery is innocent or guilty.