If you're among those millions of Making A Murderer viewers who checks Kathleen Zellner's Twitter on a daily basis hoping for a few more clues that might point to Steven Avery's imminent exoneration, you might want to take a chill pill. As new "evidence" surrounding the case, from cell phone records to DNA testing, is teased out, it's easy to assume it's just a matter of time before Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are released. It might not be that easy, at least according to the Netflix documentary's creators. The Making A Murderer filmmakers have said Avery faces "incredible odds."
Speaking on Australian morning show Sunrise, Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi commented on the difficulty of convicted murderers proving their innocence. They were asked if they think Avery will ever be released from jail. Demos answered:
That's a possibility but both Steven and Brendan — as convicted murderers — they face incredible odds as does anyone convicted of a crime.
They also spoke on why the series has captured the attention of so many viewers around the world. Ricciardi said she thought people were drawn in by Avery's story as someone who spent so long in jail for something he didn't do, only to find himself back in the same situation years later. "There many themes that emerged from the series," Ricciardi told Sunrise, "themes of fairness, institutional power versus individual rights and the question of accountability."
The Sunrise hosts said they didn't want to get into questions of guilt or innocence, but they questioned how a judge and jury could decide "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Avery did it. Demos had an answer:
What the series show is that there's so many factors that play into how juries decide their verdicts, such as pretrial press coverage or community bias. So I think that plays in for sure, but I think also our viewers have access to information that the jury didn't. Our viewers got to see Brendan Dassey's interrogation. All the juror's saw was Ken Kratz's press conference, where he says, "We now know exactly what happened."
Ricciardi also defended claims that they had left out information that made Avery look better and would make him more likable to the public. "We did not set out to convict or exonerate anyone here. We needed to distill the material we had. We had voluminous material and the question is whether what was excluded was of real significance and, in our opinion, it was not," Ricciardi said.
And in the best news to Making A Murderer fans, they remain open to the possibility of a second season.
Image: Making A Murderer/Netflix