'Making a Murderer' probes criminal justice

'Making a Murderer' probes criminal justice

Netflix’s newest exclusive series Making a Murderer has taken hold of my mind and dragged me into addictive layers of mystery, complexity, and alas, utter shock — in the final verdict, that is.
The documentary series delineates the never-ending legal troubles of one man, Steven Avery, as he faces a literal lifelong battle with Wisconsin’s criminal justice system and the inescapable hatred by the locals of Manitowoc County. The very first episode follows events that took place in 1985 involving the rape and torture of a young woman along the coast of Lake Michigan. Amidst misinformation and a biased county police department, 22-year-old Steven Avery finds himself framed for the crime. Besides the obvious distortion of facts, the victim was manipulated into thinking that Steven Avery was the man who harmed her. Although Steven had several alibis to confirm his whereabouts when the rape took place, he was sent to prison for 18 years as a result of the victim’s mistaken identification.
Spoilers aside, after 18 years, Avery’s problem has only just begun. DNA tests finally secured his release from prison in 2003. Suddenly, less than two years later, Avery’s world gets turned upside down once again when he faces a murder charge. This time, his legal troubles draw the attention of more than just Manitowoc County.
Overall, the series is solid with 10 one-hour-long episodes that kept me hooked on intriguing intros, lovely opening/closing theme music, and consistent cliffhangers. I watched the entire series over the course of just three days, and it’s a must-watch.
If you love a good murder mystery, crime investigation dramas, law-and-order plot lines, or all of the above, Making a Murderer is the perfect series for you. In addition to getting an average Netflix-browser like me addicted, the plot stays stuck in my brain. Making a Murderer has me constantly questioning our nation’s criminal justice system.
However, as convincing as the general argument the series makes may be, there is controversy over whether it was created out of desire for the truth or to express a foregone conclusion. This bias becomes evident after further researching the topic — results show that a good portion of critical information was not released through Making a Murderer.
Nevertheless, it’s still one of the best documentary series I’ve seen. Watch it if you’d like something to ponder or perhaps need some facts about how the criminal justice system works, but don’t forget to conduct your research afterwards. I highly recommend it.
~claire shifflett, staff reporter