LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Netflix documentary series has taken the country by storm, leaving many captivated viewers with more questions than answers.
Set in Wisconsin, “Making a Murderer” follows the arrest, prosecution and conviction in the murder trials of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey.
At this time, both men continue to fight their convictions from jail. The case turned out to be one of the most high-profile murder trials in Wisconsin history.
Since the series premiered, the real-life thriller has attracted enormous publicity and speculation among binge-watching viewers across the country.
Overall, many fanatics have been left searching for answers to one specific question: Were Avery and Dassey wrongfully convicted?
In February, defense attorney Dean Strang addressed many theories that were presented during an event hosted by criminal defense attorney Lou Shapiro, in conjunction with the Westside Bar Association, at the W Hotel in Los Angeles. The following topics were discussed:
In response to the series, prosecutor Ken Kratz has made public remarks claiming first-time filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos created an “advocacy piece” rather than a documentary series. Kratz has noted the show appears to favor the defense over the prosecution.
Ricciardi and Demos have defended their editorial decisions, saying they presented the documentary series from both points of view.
“The main points the defense made ended up in the film,” Strang said. “Smaller or more nuanced or complicated points understandably did not, as this was a film about two trials; it was not the two trials themselves. Likewise, the main points the prosecution made were in the film and then some. The film did not just parrot the prosecution narrative of the cases completely.”
“I think it would have been edifying for the public to be able to see something about how lawyers on the prosecution side prepare, think about the challenges they’ll face in the trial and anticipate their defense strategy,” he added. “The two filmmakers who actually did invest 10 years of their lives making this film made responsible and fair editorial choices.”
Meanwhile, critics of the series have slammed the filmmakers for leaving out incriminating evidence, including more than 600 hours of testimony.
“I didn’t anticipate that I’d be participating in an effort to make a film,” Strang said. “I wouldn’t have gotten into a case with that expectation or purpose. It was clear [the filmmakers] hoped to use the stories to raise broader questions within the criminal justice system. Maybe this is a moment to think about that as an opportunity and how we undertake that civic duty.”
“I personally think [Avery] did not do it,” he concluded. “But that doesn’t count for anything — [my opinion] has no greater validity than one lawyer’s probably skewed viewpoint. In the end, when we lose a case, we really hope we’re wrong. The idea that we lost a case and somebody innocent is sitting in stir for it is a lot to carry around.”