I got sucked into Netflix's latest true crime venture, Making a Murderer, hoping against hope that it would have a happy ending. I kept watching through wrongful conviction, through trial after trial and through the shutting down of damning evidence that Steven Avery, the man I had followed for 10 hours, was innocent of yet another crime.
On the surface, Making a Murderer is about the wrongful rape conviction of Steven Avery, to which he spent 18 years in jail, despite not having committed the crime. After being released, Avery decides to sue his county for a large sum, for wrongful conviction. Two years after being released from jail, he was arrested again, this time for murder. The show chronicles his trial as his lawyers attempt to acquit him of yet another crime he didn't commit.
However, when you go deeper into the show, it's really all about power, who wields it, and the lengths people with it will go to to maintain it. As the show goes on, it becomes quite clear that Avery has found himself in a police conspiracy, with everyone in power angling against him and his family.
The show is hard to watch at times, especially when a glimmer of hope shines through, like the possibility that Avery's DNA was planted by the police, and then that hope is dashed when nothing comes of it in the trial. With each episode, I got more stressed and heartbroken as the straits became more dire for Avery and his family. It's injustice in it's purest form.
By show's end, I remained convinced of Avery's innocence, though, like his lawyers, I almost hoped that he did commit the heinous crime that put him, once again, behind bars, if only so that an innocent man wasn't languishing in prison for yet another crime he didn't commit. It's not right that someone should have the cards stacked against them like that. It's not fair that this man's life has been ruined twice by the same people, and that those people are getting away with it.
Making a Murderer is a compelling bit of television that you wish was fiction. However, it is worth seeing just to truly believe the imbalance of power between those who have it and those who don't. The entire series is on Netflix.