Since airing in December, the Netflix documentary series Making A Murderer has brought a tremendous amount of attention to the trials and convictions of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey. Public outcry has taken many forms, from sub-Reddits dissecting the cases to petitions calling for pardons to a protest at the Manitowoc County Courthouse. The outcry has even gone global: A protest is being planned for April at the U.S. embassy in London, and a Harry Potter star who supports Steven Avery plans to be in attendance.
British actor Miriam Margoyles, who played Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter movies, was moved deeply by the series. She told Mirror Online, "Nothing about this case stacks up, absolutely nothing. It is absolutely sickening to watch what has gone on here. In fact, I would go as far as to say it is utterly wicked." Acknowledging that she's not a lawyer and that she doesn't know for sure that the men are innocent, she expressed feeling that a great injustice had been done during their trials: "I cannot truthfully say from the bottom of my heart what went on, all I can say is that something is not right here."
Making a Murderer shed light on a number of questionable circumstances at play during the trials of Avery and Dassey. To name a few, murder victim Teresa Halbach's car key turned up in Avery's home days after the place had already been searched; Avery was released from an 18-year stint in prison that he served based on a wrongful conviction; and Dassey's confession took place without his parents' supervision. Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office has denied any allegation of wrongdoing, and say that their interview of Dassey was by the book.
"The fact that they took that young 16-year-old boy in for questioning, without his parents, without a lawyer and extracted that confession out of him ... It was an outrageous manner of interrogation and should never have been admissible," Margoyles said. "Then you have to look at the evidence. There simply wasn't any that actually stacks up."
Margoyles told Mirror Online that she believes the Avery's socioeconomic status is the reason behind the family's troubles. "The Avery family have been a victim of the class system from start to finish. It is clear they have been treated like they were trash and by a group of people who were, in my opinion, colluding." The Netflix series noted that the Avery family stood out in their little town of Two Rivers, Wisconsin; most of the residents are farmers, while the Avery family lived in poverty and ran a salvage yard.
Margoyles has written to Steven, Brendan, and the Avery family. She hopes her support will strengthen the Avery family's cause.
Image: Making a Murderer/Netflix