The final episode of “Making a Murderer” ends this hellashish lesson on the U.S. justice system. We see the results of a wrecked Avery family with Steven and Brendan having been found guilty of the horrific murder of Teresa Halbach.
Steven’s old trailer is a mess with no one to keep it up, and weeds are growing up around the junked cars on the property. Not to mention the family is fractured due to the case.
Episode ten shows us the legal options of Steven, which are few and far between. He has appeals of course, but they start out with the judge who called Avery “the most dangerous individual to ever step foot in his courtroom.” Miraculously this judge didn’t overrule himself by ordering a new trial.
Avery could have 100 more trials in his crooked county. The verdict would be guilty each time.
Steven is offered some hope from a new girlfriend who watched the trial unfold then began writing him after the verdict. There’s someone for everyone I guess. He talks about a future with her as we see shots of razor wire in the background.
Brendan Dassey has a real chance at a new trial with a fresh set of lawyers specializing in convictions based on false confessions. Steven Drizin is the expert who sought out the case.
The new legal team bases their request for a new trial on the fact that Brendan’s original lawyer, ole Len Kachinsky, was such a hard worker….for the wrong team. Drizin and company argue that without Kachinsky and his investigator Michael O’Kelly, the most crucial statements coerced from Dassey never happen.
Kachinsky hits the stand to defend his actions, but contradicts his own statements to the media about stating Brendan is “responsible” for the murder, before ever meeting with his client.
Kachinsky is shown in documentary saying that Dassey was a pawn to Avery, when in fact the lawyer was a pawn to the prosecution. If Brendan Dassey had money for real lawyers like Buting and Strang, both Avery and Dassey are free right now.
Michael O’Kelly was a joke on the stand showing no remorse for actively working against his own client, Dassey. His creepy “memorial” set up on the video where Dassey is forced to draw the murder scene is over the top and designed to coerce a confession.
The results of the polygraph O’Kelly administered were inconclusive, but O’Kelly lied to Dassey, telling him he had failed the test. Infuckincredible!
It is apparent to me Kachinsky’s goal was simply to help bolster the other case against Avery. To hell with the 16 year old kid the lawyer was getting paid by the county to defend. “Paid by the county,” is so key.
The email O’Kelly read highlighted the fact that no prosecution was needed with Brendan’s own defense team hard at work against the Avery family. Portions of the email include O’Kelly calling the Avery family incestuous and says “There is no good in any member of that family.” He goes on to tell how a friend tells him the Averys are a “one branched family tree that needs to be cut down and that he can end the gene pool” with this case.
O’Kelly’s interrogation of Dassey was a rehearsal for the prosecution’s taped interrogation the very next day. But when that yielded little useful info they bullied Brendan into calling his mom in order to use those recordings as evidence.
The point Brendan’s new lawyers hoped to make was that even though Kachinsky was dismissed for his unethical behavior, the statements that were gathered were still used. Any idiot should be able to see how that made the first trial unfair.
Not so clear to a legal system with zero interest in admitting to a mistake. So Dassey is denied a new trial.
Great lawyers with solid points and the kid still gets no justice.
To no one’s surprise we see Ken Kratz for the POS that he is. The guy is busted by a reporter for sexually harassing a domestic abuse victim and eventually is forced to resign after more women come forward.
Oh, and the state Department of Justice knew about his filthy conduct a year prior to the media getting hold of the info.
Better to leave a slimy guy in office than rock the boat I guess.
There is little hope for the future of Steven as we see his former lawyers discuss his options. Unless new evidence arises or better technology for another EDTA test comes about, he is likely to never be free again. Strang actually says a part of him hopes his former client did murder Ms. Halbach. That sounds morbid, but I guess it would make it easier to stomach Avery sitting behind bars until his life ends.
Brendan still has hope as his legal team is working toward a federal review of his case based on his constitutional rights to proper counsel being violated. If I had to bet I would put some money on Dassey getting a shot at a new trial. With Avery lawyer-less and doing his own legal research I wouldn’t bet $1 against $1000 he ever gets set free.
The last statement we hear is Steven Avery saying, “The truth comes out sooner or later.”
I really hope that is the case because I can’t say for sure whether he killed Teresa Halbach. I am sure the police planted evidence from what I saw on the film. If I were a juror I would have voted not guilty since there was reasonable doubt at every turn.
That said, I wouldn’t want Steven Avery as my neighbor based on the possibility he did murder an innocent woman. Would you?
I hope you all got as much out of this Netflix doc as I did. It was entertaining as hell and informative at the same time.
I had very little faith in the justice system already. Going in I knew all about pointless convictions of non violent drug offenders, that the poor have little chance in a courtroom, and how plea bargains are the norm in order to move the cogs (humans) through the system most efficiently.
I feel bad that two likely innocent men will wake up in a cage tomorrow and every day afterward. Yet I will go watch a football game in a moment and slowly put their trials and tribulations in the back of my mind, as terrible as that seems. I have to keep moving forward in my own life. I’m fortunate to be able to do so. Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery can’t move forward since getting tangled up in the super sticky and even filthier web of the legal system.
***One final thought on the two main police officers, Lenk and Colborn, who likely set up Avery according to his defense team. My favorite TV character ever is Vic Mackey from “The Shield.” I didn’t mind the fact that Mackey routinely broke the law in order to catch really bad people. Planting evidence and unlawful shootings were OK, since I could see that it was for the greater good.
If this Avery case were a fictional TV show I would consider Lenk and Colborn heroes. Why? because I would be able to see the entire scope of the world they lived in. I would likely know for sure if Avery and his nephew tortured and killed Teresa Halbach. That being the case, I would have no problem with any methods used by the cops to lock these killers up for good.
As moral as I want to be, I would not be able to say Lenk and Colborn were wrong for setting up a man who was guilty anyway.
But this film was about real people, not characters that don’t have real parents that who drag themselves to court daily and visit their convicted son 220 miles away. I had no problem rooting for Vic Mackey to take down the criminals by any means necessary.
In the real world, “Any means necessary,” has just left doubt about the innocence of two men residing in prison right now.
It would be disgusting to know Dassey and Avery were freed but really were killers.
However, that dark scenario is still better than convicting two innocent people.
Steven Avery, the subject of the popular Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer,” wants to be released from prison while the Wisconsin Court of Appeals considers his latest challenge to his 2007 murder conviction.
Avery filed two motions Monday alleging violations of due process rights in his prosecution for the 2005 rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, according to CNN affiliate WBAY. Avery is serving a life sentence for her death.
The 10-part Netflix series renewed interest in Avery’s ongoing legal troubles, leading to calls for his release and a petition seeking a presidential pardon. It was declined because the President cannot pardon someone convicted of a state criminal offense. Wisconsin prosecutors and law enforcement have accused the documentary directors of cherry-picking the evidence to cast it in a light favorable to Avery.
Avery was convicted in 1985 in the rape of jogger Penny Beerntsen on a beach near her home in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. After serving 18 years in prison, he was exonerated based on DNA evidence connecting the attack to another man.
Avery was released in 2003 and filed a lawsuit against Manitowoc County for wrongful conviction and imprisonment. Two years later, he was arrested in the death of Halbach, whose charred remains were found on his family’s auto salvage yard.
Prosecutors laid out their case: Halbach’s Toyota RAV4 (which had blood in it, including Avery’s) was found on the Avery family’s lot. Tissue and bone fragments that matched Halbach’s DNA profile were found outside Avery’s mobile home. Avery’s then-16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, confessed to authorities that he had assisted his uncle in raping and killing her.
Avery wrote and filed his appeal before noted defense attorney Kathleen Zellner took on his case. One of the motions claims a search warrant executed on the property was invalid, meaning evidence from the search should have been inadmissible. The second motion claims a juror pressured others into voting guilty.
The motion seeks a stay of enforcement of the judgment and release on bond. If the court decides to vacate Avery’s conviction based on his claims, prosecutors would have to decide whether to retry him without the impermissible evidence.
Ken Kratz, who was the Calumet County district attorney and the lead prosecutor in the case, shared his thoughts with WBAY.
“I’m disappointed that Mr. Avery’s appellate lawyers are allowing him to continue to file pleadings with the court on his own – that’s what lawyers are hired to do,” he said. “And this appears to be an example of Mr. Avery doing exactly what he wants to and when he wants to do it.”