As of the time of this writing, I’ve completed watching Season 2 of the Netflix series Making a Murderer, and I still felt just as much anger, disgust, helplessness, confusion, empathy, compassion and sadness over all of the parties involved (including government officials) and what took place just like with Season 1. I’m going to try my best not to repeat what I’ve already said about Season 1, especially in regards to what appears to be corruption that occurred on the government side of things.
As I sit here and question why I felt so compelled to write about this series, it is not because I am a blind fanboy of Netflix or of the series itself. It’s not just solely because of the strong feelings of empathy and compassion I have for the potentially wrongfully convicted. It’s because of the additional and continued revelations about how corrupt, unjust, unfair, irresponsible, inactive, inept, and ineffective the U.S. government truly is (and all governments across the globe for that matter).
The fact that the U.S. government has failed these two human beings (Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey) who are just as much victims as Theresa Halbach, whom the government may also have failed if her killer is still at large. The fact that the U.S. government has failed, and continues to fail, many other humans sitting in prison right now who are also wrongfully convicted (not to mention the fact that here in the U.S. the majority of prisoners are African American, at least the last time I checked). That this is a government with a history of ongoing corruption. The fact that prison is just a band-aid and is not the answer to resolving the true underlying problems of life in modern society.
And most importantly, that our government is run by animals.
“We the people” are imperfect, fallible animals capable of all sorts of beautiful and ugly things. That’s our human / animal nature! Therefore, our political systems are just as imperfect, fallible and prone to corruption as the humans that operate them! Just because someone wears a suit or a fancy robe and “swears under god” (a god that for all intents and purposes, and from my perspective, does not exist) doesn’t make them perfect or better than any other human. Yes, they are supposedly more educated and held up to a higher standard, but they are still flawed, imperfect humans that do things in the privacy of their homes that we will never know about. They experience emotion which easily clouds one’s judgement. There will always be potential for corruption and mistakes, and grave mistakes involving innocent people, whether wrongfully convicted or a casualty of war. Which is why I feel we need to either: a) figure out a better way for our governments to work more fair and just while minimizing the amount of corruption (which is nearly impossible because of the human element), or b) dismantle government once and for all. I am for whatever option that will best benefit everyone, not just the majority.
Who killed Theresa Halbach?
Who knows! With all of the revelations in both Season 1 and Season 2, it is very possible that Theresa Halbach’s true killer is still at large. It looks like there are quite a few potential suspects besides Steven Avery that were not fully investigated. It also appears that the Manitowoc law enforcement stopped pursuing other leads and tried to focus on Steven Avery. One could even say that the Manitowoc police were solely interested in apprehending Steven Avery as he was in the process of a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Manitowoc County.
Based on what the series revealed, someone on the government side of things should be taking proactive steps by acting in a mature and responsible manner to reopen the investigation into Theresa Halbach’s murder and find out who the real killer was. It shouldn’t have to come down to a lawyer having to do all the legwork. The U.S. government is a complete failure when it comes to fairly and justly providing the convicted with the proper means to defend themselves or prove their innocence.
Was Steven Avery Framed?
It’s possible that if someone else killed Theresa Halbach that they very well could have framed Steven Avery. I hate to start thinking like this, because this is how you end up going down the path of typical conspiracy theory line of thinking. Anything is possible when it comes to people. They could have framed Steven Avery, they could have worked with law enforcement to frame him, who knows what really happened, and we may never know.
Based on all of the revelations in Season 1 and 2, it is possible that someone or multiple people, either Manitowoc law enforcement or the true killer(s), framed Steven Avery. Or both the killer(s) and the Manitowoc law enforcement were both involved in setting him up, not necessarily from a conspiracy theory perspective, but more in a happenstance sort of way. The killer did their deed, the Rav 4 was reported to police who got involved and saw the perfect opportunity to lay it on Steven Avery.
It is possible that the Manitowoc law enforcement framed Steven Avery knowing that they were about to be sued by him for his prior wrongful conviction of 18 years of which he was exonerated. This could be motive. The only problem with this theory is that someone (Theresa Halbach in this case) just so happened to get murdered at this time. It is quite coincidental, although coincidence doesn’t rule out the possibility. He was freed of his wrongful conviction in 2003 and the murder of Theresa Halbach did not occur until 2005. That’s 2 years that Steven Avery most likely did not commit a crime. Then as he is about to sue Manitowoc County, there just so happens to be a murder that he ends up being convicted of? It sounds suspicious.
It is possible that the true killer framed Steven Avery. Why they would do this, I have no idea, but lack of knowing the killer’s motive doesn’t preclude the possbility of them framing Steven Avery for whatever reason they had. It seems very plausible that they got Steven Avery’s blood from his trailer and planted it in Theresa Halbach’s vehicle. After all, no fingerprints of Steven Avery were found anywhere in or on the vehicle from what I understand, nor was his blood found on the steering wheel, gear shift, etc. It’s all far too suspicious.
Steven Avery’s Defense Lawyers
While Jerry Buting and Dean Strang may have failed Steven Avery, I still believe they did their best to represent him. I can’t explain why they did or did not do certain things during the trial. I am not them, none of us are, not to mention the fact that I’m not a lawyer. Then there is the fact that the State always has more ammunition on their side in the forms of almost a limitless amount of resources and experts they can use to prosecute someone. The defense was facing an uphill battle, but I believe that’s the way it is for the defense all across the U.S. That is just another reason to add to the pile in terms of how the entirety of the U.S. judicial process is a complete failure. I don’t hold them too accountable, especially after the fact, when hindsight is always 20/20 and it’s easy when we have the time on our hands to sit back and say “this and that should have been done better or in a different way”.
Thoughts on Brendan Dassey
Again, it’s a shame, and an embarrassment, that as taxpaying citizens our government failed Brendan Dassey. It failed him in the fact that not only have some judges ruled that his confession was indeed coerced, but that the U.S. Supreme Court, the so-called “holiest” temple on high, the so-called “highest” judicial authority in our nation, won’t even hear his case! This is exactly what is wrong with our government. Who do these humans think they are!? They are not gods! They are fallible animals, just like the rest of us. The sole fact that some judges did find his confession to be coerced is reason enough to free him or retry him, and not to rely on some outdated, archaic “majority rules” mentality.
While the U.S. Supreme Court had the audacity and gall to not even hear his case, I do believe his lawyers can continue to appeal but through the lower courts. If the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear his case results in his conviction ultimately being final, then Brendan Dassey stands as a glaring example of how the U.S. Government is a shameful disgrace and an embarrassment, and has failed him as well as all prisoners and U.S. taxpayers.
The U.S. Supreme Court & the Appeals Process
The U.S. government works for, and is paid by, its citizens, not the other way around.
What probably astounds me the most is that, based on all of the revelations in the series, no government body whatsoever is reopening the cases of these two potentially wrongfully convicted individuals! Where is the proactive behavior, the accountability, the maturity, and the responsibility of the government? A government to which most U.S. citizens pay taxes in order to operate in a fair and just manner!
For the U.S. Supreme Court to have the gall and audacity not to even hear Brendan Dassey’s case is appalling! The fact that one judge overturned Brendan Dassey’s conviction and found his confession to have been coerced, should be all the reason necessary for someone, anyone in the government to say “We have a problem here. Let’s reopen and investigate”, or simply exonerate him.
Think of it this way: if someone has brought to your attention the fact that something is broken in your home, do you just remain obstinate about it and refuse to fix it, possibly ignoring it? No! Do you hold court with all the family members and say “Okay Mom, Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Larry, Cousin Sue, Son, Daughter, all in favor of fixing the pipe raise your hand!”? No! You act in a proactive, responsible and mature manner and do whatever it takes to fix the problem! Our U.S. Supreme Court, and most levels of the U.S. judicial system, are a complete failure to its taxpaying citizens and to those who are wrongfully convicted when it refuses to hear cases, or outright ignores its own glaring problems! It’s time to replace the pipes or possibly the foundation!
Here’s another way to look at it: Let’s say a child is thought to have disobeyed their parents. Dad sends the child to their room. Mom has a talk with the child and finds out its possible they did not disobey them after all. Mom talks with Dad and explains the child’s case, but Dad remains obstinate and refuses to allow the child to leave their room. Of course you can swap Dad and Mom, but the point still remains: the child remains grounded even when they may not have done anything. It’s that primal nature or desire in certain people, or in all of us perhaps, to punish, coupled with the fact that most people never want to admit they are wrong or admit their mistakes, which is the underlying issue.
As for the appeals process here in the U.S., it’s appalling that someone who may be innocent, or any other reason for an appeal, has to jump through so many hoops (the appeals process), spend so much money, and so many years in prison (in the case of the wrongfully convicted) just to have their case even heard, let alone retried, for whatever the reason may be. The process needs to be faster, even if that involves more people involved. Perhaps this is a glaring problem inherent in this system of hierarchy.
Thoughts on Certain Manitowoc State Officials
I’m not going to name names, but the audacity and gall certain people have that were involved on the State side of these cases who are out to save their own skins or maintain their tarnished reputations is despicable. They continue to point fingers at Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey when almost the entire world knows there is a great possibility that they are innocent.
Not to mention the fact how no current State official has exercised the maturity, accountability and responsibility to say “Something’s not right here, we need to re-investigate to find out who the real murder(s) is/are, and retry the convicted or set them free”. Again, it’s just a glaring example of the ineptness, lack of accountability, and lack of taking the correct proactive measures to insure fairness and justice. Manitowoc officials should especially be embarrassed and ashamed of both their actions and inaction.
Thoughts on Kathleen Zellner
If someone ever happens to end up in Steven Avery’s position, hire Kathleen Zellner. Her ferocity, attention to detail, and courage are what is needed in society. Furthermore, she is the type of person we need throughout our judicial system. I hope that she will find Steven Avery innocent so that Brendan Dassey in turn can also be set free, unless his lawyers are able to do that beforehand.
Why do I Empathize for Prisoners?
In the first article I wrote about this series, I stated that we should abolish prisons. So without getting into great detail, let me delve into one aspect as to why I think that way.
I have a lot of empathy for prisoners because not one single person is born a criminal, but every single person has the potential to commit crime.
I’m not a psychologist, I never even went to college. You don’t have to in order to come to these conclusions. I’m not going to delve into great detail as to all of the various reasons which may lead someone to commit a crime. Childhood upbringing could have a major role in it. We know that parents abuse their kids, they choose spending time with friends or drugs over their kids, many work too much (which isn’t necessarily their fault), and a host of other reasons that might cause a child to commit a crime.
Some people make mistakes, some cause harm deliberately, whether it’s an act of passion or due to a mental health issue. Whatever the reason is, we need to move away from this archaic “punishment” mentality. It doesn’t work and it is not a deterrent. Instead of arresting people and placing them in prison, we should be taking them to some sort of rehabilitation facility, where they are treated by professionals. At this facility they might be kept away from society so that no one else is harmed, but they are not kept in rooms or cells like a sanitarium or prison. They would basically receive the same quality of life as if they were still free. I’m just writing this off the top of my head. However we go about it, the point is that people need compassion and help, not to be shunned from society and locked away causing irreparable mental health issues.
It’s easy to sit here and write all of this, and may it sound good on paper, but dealing with human nature and man-made morals in modern society is a complicated issue. (This is probably yet another article I will write about.)
I don’t want to abolish prisons and shut them down immediately. I don’t want rapists and serial killers set free. We need to shut the prisons down, but at the same time develop a new system of rehabilitation to take its place so that these people might be able to return to society.
No child ever thinks “I can’t wait to grow up and get married and have kids to find out my spouse cheated on me so I can commit a murder suicide by killing my spouse, my kids and myself”, or “I can’t wait to grow up and find out how horrible the real world truly is so that I can shoplift and sell drugs to end up in prison time and time again”. We need to figure out how to prevent these things from occurring. And that’s the kind of society, community, school classes, intervention, and rehabilitation that needs to exist.
The Court System
This is just one reason I am anti-government. I do like certain aspects of government, even though I am somewhat anti-government from a philosophy standpoint and support Anarchism (I’ve been happily paying taxes since the 80’s when I first started working). I don’t want to get into all of the pros and cons of government here.
The court system is a major point of frustration for me and for a lot of people as well I’m sure. The fact that fallible human beings have the gall to play god with someone else’s life is most appalling. We have an archaic “eye for an eye” revenge-seeking mentality which just shows that we haven’t really matured as a species.
What I really want to mention is that we need to get rid of this system of hierarchy where 1 judge resides over a case or cases. We should have multiple judges per case! The reason for this is because people are fallible, emotional, imperfect and prone to corruption. Besides: the more, the merrier! More judges, more jobs! More judges presiding over a case means more perspective and more insight, and less being prone to corruption and narrow-mindedness. More judges presiding over a case means a swifter judicial process! Make every court act as a mini Supreme Court! And when those mini Supreme Courts come to a ruling, and when the jury comes to its decision, there is ample time to insure that logic and justice have prevailed, and that no stone was left unturned when it comes to the prosecution and defense in terms of evidence and investigations.
But the court system has far more issues than just the lack of judges residing over cases. I’m no expert, but the court systems are bogged down with too many cases, there’s recidivism (repeat offenders, which just proves that prison is not a deterrent and people are not getting the help they need), and many people can’t afford good attorneys, just to name a few examples.
Again, the system either needs a complete overhaul so that it operates differently, efficiently, justly, is less prone to corruption, is organic and open to new ideas, or it needs to be dismantled and shut down altogether.
Lawyers vs the Ineptness of Government
Why is it that when our government finds someone potentially guilty of a crime, that the same government does not offer its citizens the same resources to defend themselves as it does to prosecute them? How is that even humane, logical and rational!? It doesn’t make any sense! Of course, neither does government.
If the U.S. government proudly exclaims “Innocent before proven guilty!”, “United we stand!”, and “for Liberty and Justice for all!”, then why is it not holding itself up to these same self-proclaimed standards? Why is it that the government is so eager and willing to arrest and convict someone, but doesn’t offer that same swift righteousness to help you prove your innocence, or to help you hire a good lawyer? And why does a citizen have to even hire an outside attorney to begin with!? The government should have equally qualified defense attorneys as it does prosecution attorneys! That is what is called fairness! That is what is called justice!
This is probably the biggest, most glaring problem with government in regards to the judicial side of things. That someone who is proclaimed a prisoner by their government has to rely on whether or not they have enough money to hire an outside lawyer! It’s despicable! It’s a sophomoric way of running any kind of organized body or institution, let alone one that is ultimately in charge of peoples’ freedom.
I hope the following happens as a result of what this documentary revealed:
- Changes are made within the U.S. judicial system which improves the process, speed, improves fairness and justice, conducts ongoing oversight and review, and prevents corruption and ultimate finality. The buck should not stop at the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Something needs to change to prevent anyone from ever being arrested or convicted of a crime they did not commit.
- That someone, somewhere, has the courage to stand up for what’s right and reopens the investigation into Theresa Halbach’s murder.
- That Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery are set free.
- That the true killers are brought to justice.
- That we either improve or abolish our prison system and replace it with some form of rehabilitation
- That we either improve or abolish government and its judicial system
- That there is a Season 3 of this series as theses stories are far from being over.