With my heart in my mouth I have been GLUED to Making a Murderer on Netflix.
If you’re not across this year’s biggest show yet, check out Rosie Waterland’s review of it here.
SPOILER WARNING (for those of you who have way more restraint than me and haven’t Googled ahead):
Steven Avery is a man who in 1985 was convicted of an assault and attempted murder he did not commit.
In 2003 he was exonerated and released.
He then sued Manitowoc County in Wisconsin, the Sheriff and the District Attorney, for wrongful conviction. He asked for $36 million in damages, and the case was coming along nicely.
There was a lot to suggest that local law enforcement had targeted Avery in 1985, and then neglected evidence that would have proved his innocence.
Depositions were underway. Evidence was stacking up in Avery’s favour.
Then a woman named Teresa Halbach went missing and Avery was almost immediately the prime suspect.
The meat of the story in Making a Murderer is not the exoneration of Avery, and the subsequent disgrace of local law enforcement.
It’s the second trial of Avery — this time for murder.
Did he do it? Was he framed?
I don’t know yet, I haven’t finished the series. But I do know that Avery was convicted of the murder, and is in jail right now.
A lot of people who have finished watching Making a Murderer are not very happy about that.
A petition has sprung up on Change.org calling for Avery to be pardoned and released.
It currently has over 280,000 signatures.
“I am outraged with the injustices which have been allowed to compound and left unchecked in the case of Steven Avery of Manitowoc County in Wisconsin, U.S.A.,” the petition reads.
“Avery’s unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process.
“Steven Avery should be exonerated at once by pardon, and the Manitowoc County officials complicit in his two false imprisonments should be held accountable to the highest extent of the U.S. criminal and civil justice systems.”
Avery’s story has clearly struck a chord.