Errol Morris, whose documentary “The Thin Blue Line” is considered a trailblazer in the true-crime genre, has some strong opinions about the trials that are covered in “Making a Murderer.”
“There’s one thing I do know from watching [‘Making a Murderer’] — that neither Brendan Dassey nor Steven Avery received a fair trial, and that that trial should be overturned,” he told Slate in a new intereview.
In many ways, “Thin Blue Line” and “Making a Murderer” share similar themes. Both have a subject who was wrongly sent to prison and eventually exonerated (Avery for a rape prior to his murder conviction). Both deal with how the legal system may treat poor people versus wealthy ones. And both involve potential police and attorney misconduct.
“To me, [‘Making a Murderer’] is a very powerful story, ultimately, not about whether these guys are guilty or innocent — but it’s a very powerful story about a miscarriage of justice,” said Morris, who expressed jealousy over the amount of documents and materials used in the Netflix series about Avery.
“Thin Blue Line” would ultimately help to free its subject, Randall Adams, from prison. While Adams was serving time, the real murderer, David Harris, committed another murder and was later executed by lethal injection in 2004.
Morris believes that “Making a Murderer” could help free Avery or Dassey, because it’s getting the right kind of attention, especially online.
“I suppose the technical way to say it is both of those trials were totally f–ked up,” he said. “But that’s not enough in our world. You have to bring it to the attention of people in a powerful enough way that people are compelled to do something about it. I suppose it’s another sort of thing to be jealous about — not really jealous about, but a little bit — is that in 1988, there was no Internet.”
Both Avery and Dassey are currently appealing their convictions.
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