A Murderer Made Out of an Innocent Man Analysis over the Netflix original "Making A Murderer" Brighton Chapman

Background of the Show

One of the worst feelings is being accused of something you didn't do, but people still believing you did. Well, imagine if this accusation led you to be in prison for eighteen years, that's what happened in Steven Avery's life. The Netflix original "Making a Murderer is a documentary over a series of episodes about a man named Steven Harvey who was accused of attempted murder in 1985. After years in prison, it later came out that he was falsely convicted and he was let out. The man who should've been in prison for all those years is named Gregory Allen. Episode one does a great job of telling the story, they interview family members, lawyers, and people who worked for the court. Although they do a great job, most of the people interviewed are on the side of Steven Avery. This show is trying to persuade the audience that Steven Avery is innocent.

What's the point of the show?

Steven Avery was in prison for eighteen out of a thirty-two year sentence. This documentary is describing how poorly this case was handled. There was so much evidence that proves Steven was not in the area where Penny Beernsten was assaulted, but the legal system in this case did everything they could to get him locked up. It seems as if the whole legal system was out to get him, Ester Bloom writes ""Because the police, for reasons of their own, had decided he was guilty, however, they ignored any evidence to the contrary and declined to look at alternate suspects (including Gregory Allen, the man who, years later, was revealed to be guilty). Worst of all, they prompted Beerntsen, the victim, to believe that her assailant was, in fact, Steven Avery. Her certainty, as delivered to her by the police and the DA, became the wrecking ball that demolished Avery’s case." (Bloom). When Beernsteen was asked to pick out of a line of men who the man who assaulted her was she picked Steven. This first episode is all about the standpoint of the people who believe Steven is innocent and throughout the episode, things are revealed to help the audience believe that he is as well, and was wrongly accused.

The People Interviewed

The main reason I was led to believe that this show was centered around the people who supported Steven was the choice of people who were interviewed throughout the episode. They chose his parents, some of his lawyers, Keith Findley (co-founder of Wisconsin Innocence Project), and Kim Ducat (his cousin). These people made many statements through out that made it clear they knew Steven and that he would never do anything like this. His parents would get emotional when talking about the subject and his appointed lawyer, Reesa Evans says "Steven didn't admit his guilt because he wasn't guilty." The only person in the entire episode that talked poorly about Steven was Sandra Morris, another one of Steven's cousins. She talks about a story from before Steven was in prison, about he tried to run her off the road. This story is claimed to be false but people believed her because her husband was in the law enforcement. If the show wasn't leaning towards Steven's side they would've interviewed the people who were involved with setting Steven up. Instead, they just talked about them and what they did. Since this show is so one-sided, it has led many people to believe information is being held back. The producers of this show are biased in favor of only one side of the case.

"He portrayed the program as a tool of Mr. Avery’s defense and accused the filmmakers of intentionally withholding facts that would lead viewers to see his guilt." -Daniel Victor

How Is The Producer Persuading Their Side?

Other than interviewing people only on the side in favor for Steven's innocence, there are also many more things the producers have done to help persuade that he's innocent. In the beginning of the episode they show Steven being released, happy with a smile on his face, and hugging his family and friends. They are showing the Steven that is so happy to be out of prison, not angry like most people would be after being falsely accused of attempted murder. They're showing the good, loving, warm side of him. Also, throughout the episode, pictures come along the screen of Steven as a child and with his wife and kids. They give some background on his children and their births and how Steven handled them. They're portraying him as a sweet man who cares about his family and friends and it makes the audience feel sad for him, which really worked. The topic of this show being biased has been said multiple times, by many different people. While interviewing the producers, Eliana Dockterman asked questions about the accusations of them being biased, the producers responded with ""Moira and I had no stake in the outcome of the trial. We had no interest in whether or not Steven Avery was innocent," she said. "We were there simply to document the story and look at the Halbach case not in isolation but in the context of 30 years." (Eliana Dockterman, Time Entertainment).The producers claim that they aren't on the side of Steven, but watching the first episode really makes it seem otherwise. I they weren't trying to have opinion over the case, they could have done many things differently.

"Much less than a dispassionate portrayal of the case, the film is a result of the filmmakers’ “agenda” to portray Mr. Avery as innocent and stoke public outrage." -New York Times
Steven, his ex wife, and all of his kids.

My Opinion Over The Topic

After watching the episode thoroughly and focusing on every aspect, I have come to the conclusion that I am persuaded. It might not be proven that this episode was meant to get people on board that Steven was innocent, but they sure didn’t hold back from making it seem like it. Some people might argue that using one side of the case didn’t benefit the show, but I would say otherwise. If the producers have the opinion that Steven was innocent, why would they include interviews from the people who falsely put him in prison? The use of pictures, videos, and interviews tied the show together and in every way possible made it clear that this man was innocent.

Works Cited

Bloom, Ester. "What Was Left Out of Making a Murderer Episode One." Vulture. N.p., 21 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

"Netflix Making a Murderer Creators: DA Should Be Embarrassed." Time. Time, n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

Victor, Daniel. "'Making a Murderer' Left Out Crucial Facts, Prosecutor Says." The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Jan. 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2017.

Reflection

My goal with this digital essay was to convince my audience that episode one of Netflix original "Making A Murderer" was made to persuade the audience that Steven Avery was innocent. Another one of my goals was to use the Adobe Spark to create a digital essay, which I had never used before this semester. I succeeded in achieving my goal, I gathered all the information I needed to convince my readers, and setting up the digital essay was at first difficult, but soon became comfortable to use. The layout was easy to chose from, and picking the theme helped describe what the essay was going to be about. Since it's about a man who was falsely accused of assault, a blackish grey would best describe the dark and gruesome topic. I tried to pick a theme that the font, color scheme, and headers would all help my topic be brought into a visual. My least successful part of my essay was secondary sources. It took a lot of time and research to find good, concrete information from sources that matched my opinion over the show. Overall, I thought using Adobe Slate was a very unique way to construct an essay. I think it makes reading an essay more interesting and gets a reader hooked by all the visuals.

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