4 Key Facts To Keep In Mind While Binging 'Making A Murderer'

by Colleen Woodward

Last night, I finished watching the Netflix series "Making A Murderer," and I was left baffled and, in a sense, heartbroken.

So, that right there should give you an idea of what you might experience through those 10 episodes.

Ultimately, you are in the juror's seat throughout the show as well.

However, you also get the look inside this family's life.

You see how it was torn apart, the type of people they are in general and how (I believe) America's judicial system failed them not once, but three times.

At the end of episode 10, one of Steven Avery's lawyers put it like this,

There's a big part of me that really hopes that Steven Avery is guilty of this crime. Because the thought of him being innocent of this crime and sitting in prison for something he didn't do, now for the rest of his [life] without a prayer of parole — [I] can't take that.

This statement sums up exactly how this documentary left me feeling, and I was just watching it on my TV.

If you haven't dived into this popular documentary series yet, there are a few things you need to be aware of prior to watching:

1. Don't look at this case as black and white.

I think what happens in a lot of cases like this is that ordinary people see it as either he did it or he didn't do it.

There is no other possible explanation in their minds, and the thought that our American judicial system could be wrong is incomprehensible.

Therefore, people like Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey get sentenced to life for crimes they very well could not have committed.

2. It's all about the media.

While watching this documentary, you will notice the extensive role the media plays in this case.

The news stations blew up the minute Theresa Halbach was reported missing, but what strikes me most about this specific case is that 12 jurors who were already swayed by the media were chosen to come up with a verdict.

With that in mind, it really puts into question for me whether or not this was a truly fair and just trial (for both Avery and Dassey).

The media sways our opinion with almost every major news report on scandals that occur, but for me, this case really opened my eyes to how truly scary that is.

3. Did anyone take into account the lack of education in this family?

Maybe it's because I have a degree in education, but this is one of the first things that came to my mind.

As you watch this documentary, you see the clear lack of schooling in the family and the very obvious learning disability Brendan Dassey has that seems to be completely overlooked.

The judge, the police and the jury don't seem to see — specifically in Brendan's case — that this kid has little to no understanding of what they are talking about.

This not only makes me question our judicial system, but also our education system.

4. Just because someone has a respectable title, it does not mean he or she lives up to those standards.

Go into this documentary with an open mind.

Just because the police, sheriff, judge, jury or lawyer say something, it does not mean it's true.

There are people in our world who hold a badge, but unfortunately have a separate agenda from what that badge says they should be doing.

This series is something that will stay with me.

It is heartbreaking, it is eye opening and it is something everyone should watch.

It will make you angry, it will make you think and it will make you question our American judicial system (which never really thought I'd have to do).

An open mind is key when you hit play on that first episode of "Making A Murderer."