A Skeptical Look At The Steven Avery Case

I, as most of you, was compelled by the Making a Murderer series on Netflix. The validity of the claims aside for a moment, it was certainly compelling TV, and Netflix deserves all credit for the entertainment value of it.

Also, like you, after watching it, I felt as though Avery and his nephew were wrongly convicted in both instances, not just the initial conviction of Avery we know was wrong.

Steven Avery: Making a Murderer on Netflix
Steven Avery: Making a Murderer on Netflix

But I’d ask you all to apply come critical thinking for a second.

Most of you who watched the documentary feel he’s innocent. I’d say a fair estimate is at least 11 out of 12 of you anyway.

Yet, in a court of law, where all the evidence was presented, 12 out of 12 people all came to the opposite conclusion and agreed Avery and his nephew were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Not the majority of them, but every single one of them. Such a large disparity cannot be explained away by a simple anomaly.

Clearly, they heard a different story than us Netflix viewers did. This story would be one where the prosecution and the defense presented their cases with equal opportunity.

I’m not saying a jury never gets it wrong, surely they do, and did in fact for his initial conviction. But let’s understand that the jury is made of people just like you and I. So if the majority of us think he’s innocent, yet all of them found him guilty, clearly we’re missing some info that the jury heard.

Here’s a link to some evidence that was left out of the documentary, in my opinion, somewhat shamefully if they intended to be fair. It paints a very different picture of Avery.Making A Murderer

Let’s also remember that the car was found on Avery’s property. If Avery is entirely innocent as he claims, and was framed by the police, when they found Halbach’s vehicle, instead of investigating her murder in earnest, they immediately opted instead to use the opportunity to plant the evidence at Avery’s place, hoping that someone would find it. It’s pretty far-fetched.

Either way, let’s explore another possibility that fits with all the evidence, not just the evidence supporting Avery’s innocence.

It is entirely possible that Avery is guilty, but prosecutors and police didn’t have enough evidence to convict him, and thus planted evidence to get that conviction they needed.

If this is true, this means both Avery and Manitowac county are villains.

By all means, it was an entertaining series which in my opinion shows that the Manitowac county government has some serious ethics issues. When libertarians like me try to convince the populace to stop growing government, it’s because government has corruption issues like this throughout. We understand that the only way to lessen government corruption is to lessen the size and scope of government itself.

But let’s not assume Avery is innocent based on a documentary with a clearly biased agenda. While I don’t argue they presented false information, it is obvious they ignored presenting information that paints Avery out in a bad light; specifically all the evidence that led to his ultimate conviction. As well as the evidence that shows he exhibited psychopathic and violent behavior.

Avery being guilty, and Manitowac County being corrupt are not mutually exclusive hypotheses. Keep in the back of your mind that it is entirely possible both are true. Watch the series, find it interesting. Look at other sources and find them interesting as well. But no one should be asserting that they know one or the other is true. Question everything, and enjoy the journey.

2 thoughts on “A Skeptical Look At The Steven Avery Case”

  1. I agree that Avery is very possibly guilty and that Manitowac would take any steps to make sure he was found guilty of the crime. Do you think that this includes the coercion of Brendan Dassey? While I still think Avery is most likely guilty (with some reasonable doubt), I am torn on my feelings for Dassey. It’s clear (from the documentary alone – not nearly as much information has come out about Dassey as has Avery) that the police and defense investigator all but fed Dassey the confession they needed to convict his uncle.

    I’m somewhat less concerned with the wrongdoings in the Avery case than I am with the Dassey case; in the latter, I feel that there is truly an innocent boy – now man – sitting in prison for a crime he did not commit. Again, I have little more to go on than what was in the documentary, but any “confession” resulting from a minor being interviewed without allowing a parent or lawyer to be present seems despicable, especially when we’re talking about one who clearly shows signs of intellectual impairment. It appears as though Dassey was just a pawn in the Avery case.

    It’s upsetting that the people who need their Miranda rights most are those who don’t understand that they have them or what they mean. Brendan clearly didn’t want to be talking to police, and as a minor who was not under arrest at the time, he could have ended those interviews as any time if he only knew the magic words.

    As always, this is a great and thoughtful article considering all possibilities without bias!

    1. I’m pretty torn on the nephew as well. I don’t see much compelling evidence for him to have been prosecuted. Since I wasn’t on the jury there, or at least attending the trial, I’m simply accepting of the idea that I don’t have all the evidence to understand how or why 12 people opted to convict him.

      The defense certainly presented the arguments that were on the TV show at trial, so I figure I have to be missing something since they all 12 agreed he was guilty.

      As a skeptic, I just decided that I don’t know, and I probably won’t, and I should claim to know one way or the other.

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