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YOU DON'T GET IT: Missing the Point of Making A Murderer

By the folks at Betters Weinandt, Jan 8 2016 06:03PM

You’ve binged on Making A Murderer. You think you get it. You go online and either express your opinion or take in the opinions of others about Steven Avery’s guilt. But you still don’t get it - we still don’t get it. In fact it’s extremely difficult to “get it” unless you’ve also watched The Central Park Five, a 2012 Ken Burns documentary currently available on Netflix. Let me explain.

When an attorney attempts to use evidence of something that isn’t on point, that evidence is rejected as being “irrelevant.” Irrelevant evidence not only wastes time, but it can also distract someone from the actual fact that needs to be determined.

Consider: In determining whether Joe Schmoe stole a candy bar from a store, it is irrelevant that Joe Schmoe ran a stop sign on the way to the store. However, is it relevant if Joe Schmoe was convicted of stealing food from a friend the year before? Maybe. But would Joe Schmoe be convicted for what happened at the store (even if it wasn’t clear) based upon the disapproval of Joe Schmoe’s past? Maybe. The Point: The more sensational the “irrelevant” evidence, the more distracting it becomes.

Now, if you have a hard time talking about the systematic failings in Making A Murderer without feeling or saying, “yeah, but I know he did it,” or “there’s no way he did it,” then you have been duped by a classic example of being distracted by sensational irrelevant evidence. No offense, but you don’t get it – not yet. There’s a film that has received far less attention, but has nonetheless highlighted failings in our criminal justice system with far more clarity than Making A Murderer. You need to watch The Central Park Five.

90 minutes. The opening credits are hardly complete when you realize that in The Central Park Five, the accused didn’t do it. I’m not talking “not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” – rather, it’s an accepted fact that they are innocent. Accordingly, you wont’ be distracted wondering “who dunnit?” You’ll have your sole focus on the failings of the system. In fact, compared to The Central Park Five, Making A Murderer is little more than a legal drama ending with a cliffhanger.

Be prepared. You won’t be thrilled with The Central Park Five like you were with Making A Murderer. Why? Because Making A Murderer distracted you from the depressing injustice sometimes perpetrated by our criminal justice system with the question of Avery’s guilt. You will have no such distraction in The Central Park Five. There is no cliffhanger. You will simply be left pondering what to tell your children.


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