November 23, 2005

"Obviously, we're not talking about Steven Avery."

The NYT has a long, front-page story about Steven Avery, the man freed by my law school's Innocence Project who is now accused of murder:
For days, however, the case of Steven Avery, who was once this state's living symbol of how a system could unfairly send someone away, has left all who championed his cause facing the uncomfortable consequences of their success. Around the country, lawyers in the informal network of some 30 organizations that have sprung up in the past dozen years to exonerate the falsely convicted said they were closely watching Mr. Avery's case to see what its broader fallout might be.

Two years ago, Mr. Avery emerged from prison after lawyers from one of those organizations, the Wisconsin Innocence Project at the University of Wisconsin Law School, proved that Mr. Avery had spent 18 years in prison for a sexual assault he did not commit.

In Mr. Avery's home county, Manitowoc, where he was convicted in 1985, his release prompted apologies, even from the sexual assault victim, and a welcoming home for Mr. Avery. Elsewhere, the case became Wisconsin's most noted exoneration, leading to an "Avery task force," which drew up a package of law enforcement changes known as the Avery Bill, adopted by state lawmakers just weeks ago.

Mr. Avery, meanwhile, became a spokesman for how a system could harm an innocent man, being asked to appear on panels about wrongful conviction, to testify before the State Legislature and to be toured around the Capitol by at least one lawmaker who described him as a hero.

But last week, back in rural Manitowoc County, back at his family's auto salvage yard, back at the trailer he had moved home to, Mr. Avery, 43, was accused once more. This time, he was charged in the death of Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer who vanished on Oct. 31 after being assigned to take pictures for Auto Trader magazine at Avery's Auto Salvage....

Lawmakers who had pushed to have the state pay Mr. Avery more than $420,000 for his wrongful arrest have grown quiet. And the bill of changes - to the way the police draw up eyewitness identification procedures, conduct interrogations and hold onto DNA evidence - is no longer called the Avery Bill.

"The legislation is very important and very sound for our justice system as a whole," said Representative Mark Gundrum, a Republican who helped organize what was then called the "Avery task force."

"But this does detract a little bit," Mr. Gundrum said. "Obviously, we're not talking about Steven Avery anymore, not highlighting his conviction."

And plans for a "grand, glorious" signing ceremony for what is now simply called the "criminal justice reforms" package, he said, seem remote.
As I've written here before, Avery was proven innocent of the rape he was sent to prison for and deserved to be released, and the Innocence Project does essential work. But it's a terribly sad thing to see someone who symbolized your idealism revealed as a monster.


DaveM said...

This is a non-trivial risk when dealing with people accused of violent crimes. The anti-death penalty people are always prime examples of this sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Avery was freed but anyone with their eyes open working on the case should have kept in mind he was a risky character (and made that a public position). Unfortunately it makes your case of wrongful conviction much less salable to the general public.

Greybeard said...

Norman Mailer would have been similarly embarrassed by Jack Abbott,
IF he could be embarrassed at all.

Bruce Hayden said...

I just hope that this doesn't slow down the formerly titled Avery reforms.

Pogo said...

Awhile back I had posted Wisconsin's explanation of how Avery was a suspect in the first place. Just months prior to the murder he was wrongfully convicted of, he attempted to kidnap a woman who was out driving. He was a logical suspect,i.e., he could easily be considered to have done such a terrible thing.

If the second crime had not occurred, he would likely have been imprisoned anyway, albeit for just a short time.

Which leads me back to my admittedly unpopular conclusion: most men convicted of a sexual assault should probably be sequestered from the public (imprisoned) until they die.

I don't think they deserve a second chance. It's just not a rehabilitatable behavior, and I believe the burden of proof rests on them, not on women in public. Unless we become okay with tattooing their foreheads and implanting GPS devices in their bodies, permanent jail is a duty.

Richard Fagin said...

Some words of wisdom from Irene Rosenberg at U. of Houston Law Center in her criminal procedure class, "These are not nice people. They're probably guilty of something, even if not what they've been charged with. But it's wrong to put judicial imprimatur on a conviction obtained by police misconduct."

tefta said...

Every time I hear that a perp is let go because of police misconduct or a lapse in procedures, I cringe. If the police err, let them be punished by dismissal or whatever. A breach in technicalities shouldn't be a "get out of jail free" card for people obviously guilty of a heinous crime.

How many other woman would Avery have molested and killed during the past 18 years? It didn't take him long to get back to business.

Sexual perverts can't be "cured" and must be kept away from society. In fact, their sociopathic behavior just escalates until they are finally put away.

I know that doesn't fit in with the world view of liberal moonbats, but it's just that simple and I don't think we need to sacrifice more innocent victims to prove that fact to the do-gooders among us.

garik said...

When thinking about what made Avery the way he is today, you have to start of course with his genetic makeup, his early experience, etc. and it may well be that the adult Avery was irreversibly damaged goods from the get-go.

But you also have to factor in 18 years in a state prison, which will pretty well make a monster out of anyone.

ziemer said...

some of you people are talking as if he was freed because of some legal technicality.

no. he was freed because the dna evidence proved the crime was committed by gregory allen -- a man in prison for a rape that occurred after the one avery went to prison for -- but did not commit.

reader_iam said...

But it's a terribly sad thing to see someone who symbolized your idealism revealed as a monster.

Never underestimate the ability of human beings to disappoint and disillusion.

But so much more tragic in this case.

richard mcenroe said...

greybeard -- Actually, Mailer was quite publicly contemptuous of Abbot's victim... along the lines of "so he killed a waite, what's the loss?"

Noumenon said...

garik -- Thank goodness someone considered the idea that our inhumane prisons might actually produce this kind of mindset even among innocent men! Now, Pogo adds very relevant information that means my kneejerk liberal reaction is wrong in this case, and he was a danger before he was locked up. But he is arguing (to my astonishment) that we should lock up people who are only potentially dangerous, without the burden of proving they have committed a crime. Unless you approve of that, there's no way to draw the conclusion that "If X is guilty of one crime, it was correct to imprison him for a different crime that he was not guilty of."

SamuelAlito said...

What Mailer actually said was that the entire Abbott affair was "another episode in my life in which I can find nothing to cheer about or nothing to take pride in."

Mailer is not blessed with love of his fellow man, and may not have expressed great empathy for the victim. Neither does he express empathy for Abbot, or himself.

Performing Bear said...

Instead of "revealed as a monster," how about "allegedly revealed as a monster" or "revealed as an alleged monster?"

Or have we convicted this guy already?

jeff said...

Performing Bear,

Thanks - you took the comment I was just about to make and made it perfectly.

That's an error a lawyer, or law professor, shouldn't make.

Is there anything other than circumstantial evidence here? So far all I've heard is that she was sent to the auto yard to take photos, disappeared, and her car was still there when the cops came looking.

Seems rather dumb for a guy who spent 18 years in Criminal U. to have left such an obvious piece of evidence lying around.

Pogo said...

Re: "But he is arguing (to my astonishment) that we should lock up people who are only potentially dangerous, without the burden of proving they have committed a crime."

You misread. I simply stated that any man convicted of even a single sexual assault should be locked iup for life. No parole.

Men who commit sexual assault aren't potentially dangerous, they are proven to be dangerous. They aren't fit to live among us.

Pogo said...

Steven Avery timeline

1979-1980: Stopped for reckless driving, speeding and being a minor transporting an intoxicant.

Nov. 6 and Nov. 8, 1980: Breaks into Northern Frontier Bar in the Town of Gibson; steals two cases of beer, two sandwiches, a toolbox and $14 in quarters.

March 23, 1981: Convicted of the two felony burglary charges; sentenced to two years in prison. Sentence is stayed and he is placed on probation for five years, and ordered to spend 10 months in the Manitowoc County Jail and pay $1,399.85 in restitution.

Sept. 2, 1982: Pours gas and oil on a cat and throws it into a bonfire, watching it burn and die. Charged with cruelty to animals.

Nov. 18, 1982: Probation revoked from burglary case because he violated probation by committing cruelty to animals. Ordered to serve the two-year prison sentence that had been stayed.

Nov. 23, 1982: Convicted and sentenced to nine months in jail for the cat-burning.

January 1985: Forced the wife of a part-time Manitowoc County sheriff's deputy off the road. Pointed a rifle at the woman, but let her go when he saw her infant daughter in the car. Convicted of endangering safety and being a felon possessing a firearm. Sentenced to six years in prison.

Nov. 9, 2005: Arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a felon during search of his residence in connection with the Oct. 31 disappearance of photographer Teresa Marie Halbach, who had a business appointment with Avery. Her vehicle was found Nov. 5 on his family's land west of Mishicot.

A significant amount of blood was found in Teresa Halbach's vehicle and on the Avery property, and in buildings on the Avery property. The keys to the car were found in his bedroom, with her DNA on them. Dried red substance believed to be blood on Avery's bathroom floor in front of a washer and dryer and on door of Avery's trailer. There were 11 spent rifle shells on the floor of Avery's garage, which also had blood on it.

Also found on Avery's property: Handcuffs and leg irons in his trailer, pornographic magazines and devices in Avery trailer, burned clothing, fragments of a cell phone and a partially burned shovel in a barrel near Avery's trailer, and bones and five tooth fragments in burn pit area near Avery's trailer.

So is he guilty? Not yet; he's presumed innocent.
But damn, he looks guilty as hell. Not being a lawyer, I am free to conjecture, no?

Aaron said...

Was her car parked in their lot? Maybe he didn't know which car was hers if it was just parked nearby. Prison is hard and awful of course - but as brutalizing as it is it doesn't make you a sexual predator. I'd have a bit more sympathy for excusing his behavior as the product of jailhouse post-traumatic stress disorder if he had snapped in a bar fight or something immediate and violent - murdering an innocent woman in broad daylight under non-stressful circumstances doesn't strike me as the natural psychological outcome from years in prison. Especially if it turns out she was raped.

Pogo said...

Nice family, the Averys:
The brothers have been in and out of trouble. According to court documents:

Brother Chuck, 51, "was charged with sexual assault in 1988 but was acquitted. In 1998, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and got 12 months probation. His probation was revoked six months later, and he was sentenced to 60 days in jail. In 1999, his former wife accused him of sexual assault and wrapping a phone cord around her neck. A charge of sexual assault was dismissed."

Brother Earl, 35, "pleaded no contest to battery and sexual assault and got three years of probation on each charge. In 1992, he pleaded no contest to a charge of battery for attacking his wife. He got 18 months' probation."

jeff said...

I withdraw the circumstantial comment - I see that there is a lot of evidence I was not aware of.

Presuming conviction... throw away the keys.

riverrat said...

Injustice is injustice, no matter what the victim of that injustice may do if that initial injustice should be discovered and corrected.

I have only the greatest admiration for the lawyers and volunteers who have toiled away trying to uncover, against great odds, miscarriages of justice. No one in the right mind would want an illegally convicted person to subsequently commit more crimes, as may have happened here.

But I feel just as ferociously that no one should be in jail for a crime he or she did not commit. The undercurrent of the argument in the Avery case seems very dangerous to me: that if someone with a bad record ends up wrongly convicted, and we uncover the error, that we should still leave that person to rot in jail because he or she MIGHT commit more crimes if released. Only someone who was willing to endorse the "guilty until proved innocent" approach could embrace such a profoundly anti-American, anti-human rights position.

JB said...

You didn't happen to watch Bones on Fox last night did you? Semi-similar plot line.

It was really good, of course if you're not watching Fox tuesday nights...well...

But either way some new evidence suggests that a death row inmate may have been wrongly convicted and follow the evidence ... and... well I won't spoil it but it was good.

Another note, something often missed is in these death penalty cases by death penalty opponents is that reasonable doubt (which theoretically should be a not guilty verdict) is not the same as innocence.

AJD said...

Hold on, riverrat. The "Innocence Project" banties around the phrase "factual innocence" all the time. It turns out that some of their "exonerations" aren't all they are cracked up to be. See, Kerry Kotler, another case that the "innocence" folks "don't want to talk about." He raped again (and was convicted) after his dubious release the first time.

The fact is, "innocence projects" are also run by humans and humans are fallible even when crusading as fighters for justice.

You can go ahead and admire people who spend their time trying to get the scum of the earth out of jail. My sympathies are with the family of a woman who was tortured and killed on the property of a man who has been paraded around Wisconsin as a hero.

Pogo said...

Re: "But I feel just as ferociously that no one should be in jail for a crime he or she did not commit."

I doubt you'll find people opposed to this basic truth, known even to a child. But, as with all human activities, it's more complicated than that.

Mr. Avery was clearly not guilty, but he was also not innocent by a long shot. It's really hard to get worked up about jailing the wrong rapist, in my view. He did not deserve to be in prison for that offense, but I think he'll prove to a jury he should never have been released.

What to do? Perhaps if sex offenders never got out after one such crime, this sort of error would be far less common. I can't claim to know the right answer, but I have little sympathy for the time he mistakenly spent in prison.

So one and a half cheers for the Innocence Project! *gulp ...cough*

Troy said...

If this guy was burning cats, then prison did not make Avery this way. He's been percolating awhile.

I agree obviously that "innocent" people shouldn't go to prison, but then what I would call "reap what one sows" (or capital J "justice") or what some might call karma does not always follow the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

Ann Althouse said...

Performing Bear: I thought about that but felt that my sentence states an abstraction: "But it's a terribly sad thing to see someone who symbolized your idealism revealed as a monster." Whether it turns out to apply to Avery is a separate matter.

JodyTresidder said...

I've hung back from commenting (thinking you were writing more in anger than measured sorrow), but now you've trotted out your hobby horse THREE times.
1. "most men convicted of a sexual assault should probably be sequestered from the public (imprisoned) until they die."
2. "I simply stated that any man convicted of even a single sexual assault should be locked iup for life. No parole."
3. "Perhaps if sex offenders never got out after one such crime, this sort of error would be far less common."
To which I can only respond- what on EARTH are you talking about?

You appear to assume - inter alia - that all sexual assault convictions are safe, recidivism is guaranteed, permanent incarceration is society's only option and that a "one strike" rule will only have a good effect.

I don't think one has to be a kneejerk liberal to raise an eyebrow here.

Perhaps it's "Flog 'Em For Thanksgiving!" and I missed the announcement?

Pogo said...

Re: "You appear to assume - inter alia - that all sexual assault convictions are safe, recidivism is guaranteed, permanent incarceration is society's only option and that a "one strike" rule will only have a good effect."

1. I don't assume sex crime convictions are any more or less 'safe' than any others.

2. Recidivism is not 100 percent in sex crimes, but the crime is so heinous and the danger to society so great, that I no longer believe any risk of recidivism is okay. I trust you're not fond of finding out there's a sex offender living in the same building as your 20 year old daughter.

3. Men who've committed sex crimes do not pay their debt to society or their victims by merely spending a few (or even many) years in jail. Permanent isolation is needed. Unless we can agree that those released will have tattoed foreheads, bright red shirts and coats with SEX OFFENDER on them, and implanted GPS devices, I prefer jail for such men.

4. Why is protecting the rights of violent sadists over against college women of particular interest to knee jerk liberals anyway?

Pogo said...

5. Permanent incarceration is not society's only option, it's society's most effective option.

6. It is obviously false and silly to state as you do that "a "one strike" rule will only have a good effect." But most certaily the good effects will far outweight the bad effects.

7. I would oppose flogging. Sequestration is sufficient.

AJD said...

The problem with your sentence, Ann, is that this cat-burning, kidnapping young man was pretty damn monstrous when the "Innocence Project" decided to defend him in the first place.

Had they had their eyes open, they would have realized they had released a dangerous man. If he really didn't commit the first rape -- and I kind of think that might now be in question,too -- there was plenty of reason to think he was a very bad guy. That does not mean they should not have taken the case.

But it does mean they showed incredibly bad judgment in parading him around the state as a hero and naming laws after him.

Let's face it, the "Innocence Project" types are far too prone to fall in love with their subjects. That shows incredibly bad judgment. No wonder they don't want to talk about him now!

Or Kerry Kotler.

Pogo said...

As for "one strike" laws in re sex crimes: how hard is it really to go through life without raping someone?

For those who find such a rule for civility untenable, well, why must the rest of us put up with it?

AST said...

At the end of the film "High Wind in Jamaica" Anthony Quinn's character, a pirate who is about to be hanged for something he didn't do, bursts into laughter. One of his fellows moans about the injustice. Quinn explains that he's laughing at the irony of it, since they've done so many things they deserved to be hanged for, that they are now to be executed for something they didn't do.

A friend of mine calls this the Anthony Quinn principle. A lot of these people who get picked up among the usual suspects turn out to be no better than the real perp.

I don't excuse this thinking, but it explains how experience can lull police and prosecutors into mistakes.

I had a client once who was falsely charged with stealing a car from an auto repair business in Green River, Utah, after he was found in possession of it in Santa Rosa California. He was a drug addict, and his story was about as implausible as it gets. He got the car from a guy named New Jersey Al in exchange for a couple of hits of speed. The witnesses had no last names. One was named Cabbie Don. They lived in the San Francisco Tenderloin district.

After the first trial ended with a hung jury, I decided I'd better get serious and hired a P.I. in San Francisco. She located Cabbie Don and he led her to New Jersey Al who confirmed every detail of my client's story.

He spent 6 months in jail here, but I thought and still think, that those 6 months probably extended his life by that amount.

The experience changed my understanding of "reasonable doubt."

Harkonnendog said...

"Avery was proven innocent of the rape he was sent to prison for and deserved to be released"

Actually he was provent innocent of the rape he was sent to prison for and he deserved TO STAY IN PRISON FOR PREVIOUS CRIMES.

Maybe the Innocence Project should take that kind of thing into account. I assume they've a limited amount of resources anyway.

JodyTresidder said...

Pogo said: "As for "one strike" laws in re sex crimes: how hard is it really to go through life without raping someone?".

Been reading a little good ole boy Francis Galton recently, Pogo?

John in Nashville said...

Did the prosecutor concede that Mr. Avery had been wrongly convicted of rape? Or did he instead trot out the canard that the presence of someone else's DNA did not mean that the accused didn't commit rape; it meant only that the victim had also had intimate contact with another person--the unindicted co-ejaculator theory?

twwren said...

Pogo/Performing Bear:

The requirement of a presumption of innocence only applies to jurors in a criminal trial. We, the great unwashed, (including Professor Althouse) can presume anything we care to, or presume nothing at all. So yes, we can "convict him already." We can and do presume defendents guilty all of the time based on the information available to us. I presume that O.J Simpson is guilty even though he was acquitted. Ditto Robert Blake. There is nothing wrong with this; certainly nothing unconstitutional. It is wrong to suggest that we have to hold our peace until an accused is judged by his peers.

AJD said...

To John in Nashville: you think the unindicted co-ejaculator is wacky, just wait until you hear Mr. Avery's claim that the evidence against him for this murder-torture was planted. Let's see, the police put his blood in her car, they put her car keys in his bedroom, they put her burned body on his property....

And thanks, twwren for the common sense. "Innocent until proven guilty" applies to one thing and one thing alone: being convicted of a crime! Of course we can form judgments without putting on a criminal trial.

But it is the utter lack of judgment by the "Innocence Project" in parading this man around Wisconsin that deserves close attention today. Which is why they don't want to talk about Mr. Avery.

Queen_Shaniqua said...

The freeing of Mr. Avery for a crime he did not commit should be considered a non-controversial movement. Regardless of a person's character, if that person is innocent of a specific crime, he should not be in prison for that crime.

In our criminal justice system, prosecutors charge and try individuals for specific crimes, and then those individuals are either convicted and subsequently sentenced or acquitted. We do not, and should not convict someone because we feel the individual is a "bad person" or "should be incarcerated because he probably did commit a crime" or "eventually he will commit a crime, so we best incarcerate him now."

We convict based on particular evidence of a particular crime. I am not saying that this is an ideal system, but this is what we have as of now.

As many commentors have said previously, the Innocence Project is made up of people, and as such they are fallible. So are our prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges and jurors. Luckily we have a check on the system - groups such as the Innocence Project. They are dedicated to one goal - revealing when individuals are wrongfully convicted of particular crimes.

To say the project should in some way be responsible for Avery's alleged recent acts is like saying the justice system should be to blame when a convict reoffends.

AJD said...

"The project" is not responsible for the torture-murder of the poor young women who encountered Mr. Avery. They are responsible for glorifying the man, parading him around Wisconsin, naming laws after him, and ignoring a violent past that made it clear to anyone who knew his violent family that this was a terribly dangerous man.

But the "Innocence Project" is so wrapped up in its own PR, and so anxious to glamorize anyone whose conviction might be questioned, that they have lost perspective.

No wonder they now want to change the subject.

Our system is designed to let guilty people go free all the time. And in my experience, there are two kinds of reactions to that fact: one group mourns the high cost of this system of justice, the other group celebrates their so-called victories and constantly blurs the lines between legal innocence and factual innocence.

Maybe the "Innocence Project" will learna little humility through this experience. That is, if they stop trying to change the subject away from their own hubris.

Performing Bear said...


You're right, twwren. It's everybody's prerogative to jump to conclusions; that's why we have courts and the Innocence Project.

Ann, thanks for the clarification; I didn't doubt you, just wanted to keep the unwashed masses of lay lawyers informed.

AJD said...

Performing Bear: you are wrong. We have courts to decide who has violated the criminal law, not to make all judgments in life about behavior! We have brains for that. And we do not need courts or the "Innocence Project" to allow us to observe facts and draw conclusions.

AJD said...

p.s. I guess that Performing Bear is still wondering whether Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy. He was never actually tried in a criminal court, so I guess we'll have to live in a state of perpetual uncertainty about that. And then, when we had live television coverage of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald, I can hear Performing Bear at home saying "I wonder what just happened? I can't wait for a court to tell me!"

John R Henry said...

Lets stipulate for the moment that Avery did not commit the rape he served 18 years for.

Lets also assume that he is convicted of the recent murder. In a "normal" case without all the publicity this one has generated, what would be the sentence, say 20 years?

So, my question to the lawyers and law profs out there is: Cold Avery argue that the 18 years constitutes "Time served" and thus be discounted from his sentence in the murder case?

In other words, does he get a get out of jail free card?

One side of me says he should. Having served time for a crime he did not commit, the state needs to make it up to him. The normal way would be with money. But here they have an opportunity to give a real quid pro quo.

OTOH, the realistic side of me doesn't want this guy walking around loose either.

John Henry

purpleberry2003 said...

I do have to agree with Pogo. I belive that the only way to control these sex offenders is to NEVER let them out again. Yes, it costs alot of tax payers money to keep them incarcerated but you choose...A) a human life, no matter how you look at you at, the victim will be scared for life if she survives the ordeal (and it could be some one that you love) or B) tax payers money

I personally know quite a few sex offenders that have repeated their crimes (I have of course have nothing to do with these kind of people). I am just saying from my personal experience THEY ALL REPEAT WITH NO REMORSE !!!!!

give me a break said...


give me a break said...

I don't feel you all are being fair. This man Just sat 18 yrs of his life in prison for something he never did and now you have hung him with a fresh rope with out even thinking just by following the path everyone has taken. I think that is so wrong. And to asume because his brothers have bad back rounds that he is the same way. WRONG I'm nothing like my brother and don't want people to judge me on my brothers actions so i feel you should not judge Mr. Avery on his brothers actions. That is not fair. Do y'all feel a man who just spent 18 yrs in prison for a crime he never did is going to get out and murder someone and then be stupid enough to leave all this evidence on his property for the police to come in and find?????? hhhhmmmm I think NOT!! Not unless this man is very very stupid and I don't think that is the case.

BbMOOzer said...

Now with the confession of Avery's nephew that the two of them brutally raped, tortured, and eventually murdered Ms. Halbach; I can't but feel that even though Avery was NOT guilty of rape in 1985; that perhaps given his deviant past; his family covering for him; the maybe...just maybe he was some how involved with the 1985 rape. I would not be surprised if he was at least there maybe as a witness. This whole sad story showcases the underbelly, the hell, the absolute most sickening behaviour of human nature. If there is evil in this world, Avery would be it's mascot.

iceman said...

Okay I may likely be crazy but has anyone considered the thought that he might actually have been guilty of the crime that he was released on? Is it possible that there could have been been an issue with the evidence? This was a small community not a large metropolitan area with a large police dept. So is it that far fetched that the evidence could have crossed. Besides most criminals are guilty of many more crimes then they are ever accused of. But what do I know I am just a common man who knows nada about our criminal justice system...

carmend said...

I don't believe that Steven Avery killed that woman. However, someone close to him does know what happened to her. The evidence is just too coincidental. Why after all those years would he kill, especially knowing the consequences. And the nephew. What a joke. Steven had been in prison too long not to come out, commit a crime, and do it with the help of a young person that could fold at any minute. Bull.... I have been a Steven Avery backer from the first mention of the Theresa Halbach disappearance.

Veritas said...

First off; I am by no means an expert on crime; however I have read (more than I can count)True Crime books; watched non-fictional shows on murder; rapists; Forensic science; profiling; etc...I'm extremely fascinated with crime; the "perps" who commit them down to the people who work solving them. With that said; I'm trying to make sense of Avery's rape and murder conviction (as of this writing Avery has been found guilty of the rape and murder of Ms. Halbach). Why would someone who spent time in prison for a crime he did not commit; get out because DNA findings found him innocent of the crime he was in for; sue the county; win that suit ; only to be STUPID enough to commit a horrendous crime two years after his release??? How stupid can he be to leave crucial evidence lying all around his place; blood; a key to Ms. Halbach's vehicle; her burned body on his property; etc....I'm not completely satisfied he committed this crime at all. People who commit murder more times than not; do not leave evidence where they live! If Avery wanted to rape and kill Ms. Halbach; why didn't he just knock her out; tie her up and do the crime away from his place?

The Name is Irrelevant; The Opinion's the Thing said...

My comments come 7 years (almost to the day!) after the last active comment on this blog, but the case has resurfaced in a compelling documentary on Netflix: Making a Murderer.

Exceptionally well done and really riveting considering, after watching all 10 episodes I am still not sure of Avery's guilt or innocence - someone killed Teresa Halbach - but there is NO DOUBT there was horrendous and FRIGHTENING levels of misconduct and Constitution shredding by the entire police and prosecutorial teams.

If the Avery family members are poor and dumb, but malicious and evil, then the same vicious defect runs in law enforcement there, too. Just watch the series. I am no liberal, but how Avery and his nephew were ever convicted on the evidence and cases presented in court is beyond comprehension.

On the other hand, if the juries were made up of the kind of poorly educated, highly biased, easily influenced types like the Averys, then perhaps it's not such a surprise after all. What I don't get is the continued denial of re-trail by the courts beyond the podunk towns, in light of the evidence of prosecutor's mistakes.

Finally, to have the insight while things are happening is amazing. This series is a documentary, not a retrospective! It took 10 years to film and I applaud the filmmaker(s) for recognizing an amazing story way back when and sticking with it all these years.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for posting.

I have heard this is a great documentary and intend to watch it.

The Name is Irrelevant; The Opinion's the Thing said...

Thanks for publishing my comment, Ann! Yes, it is a good documentary. I knew little to nothing about the case before watching it. I believe the doc will be quite informative to a brand new audience interested in justice and how things work - and don't. Your well-intentioned and important work was not in vain. : )

J. D. said...

Ann, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the documentary as well. I've been watching Making a Murderer and, having known nothing about the case before, I echo the other commenter's shock at the apparent repeated misconduct in the prosecution of this case.

Samantha said...

Can't you see? Can't you see what was happening? The men who put him in prison was being made a fool of! How can you be so blind? They were not going to let Avery sue them nor were they going to have the world know they allowed a man named Gregory Allen go free only to rape 10 more women in violent offenses! AT LEAST! Who knows how many he got to before he was put away. The truth is the sheriff's department knew the man who committed the crime was Gregory Allen and Avery's civil suit was going to expose that. If you don't know this I suggest you look up and read the civil suit yourself. Not only did the sheriff's department make a fool of Steven Avery but P.Bernstein. The community would have been outraged knowing they deliberately did this! I gather P. Bernstein actually knows deep down because she left that crazy town. I don't blame her. You people need to wake up. The very same men who put him in prison the first time KILLED TERESA HALBACH!

I also suggest reading the trial, statements and police reports. None of it adds up. It is very clear corruption is abound in Manitowoc and Calumet. The people there need to wake up and smell it.

Ispywithmyittleeyes said...

Totally agree with you Samantha! This type of injustice is going on all around the world. What is the bottom dollar in almost every aspect of our lives? MONEY!!!! The higher you are the chain, the more you get.

Those in power in Manitowoc County had a hard on for Avery for years and would do anything to keep from paying the civil suit.

After Avery was exonorated for the rape, had a bill with his name on it, was days from the court ordered depositions of 2 key people in the civil suit, and
BAMM, they charge SA with murder. What happened to those depositions? Why didn't they still take place regardless of what he was charged with. He was considered by law to be INNOCENT, until proven otherwise. The cival suit just went away with Steven and unfortunately with Brendan too....hmmmm.

Thank goodness this case came to the worlds' attention. Those of us that have watched series, read reports and trial transcripts, are astonished by the tunnel vision of Law Enforcement concerning SA. There are so many, many questions about how they handled the case from the start. Pathetic investigation, corrupt cops, DA sexting female clients that were victims of abuse and drug addict, Sherrif at the time that leaves town during investigation.."to distant himself from case".

Investigation 101 is to start close to victim; alibi family and friends first, then move onto broader investigation. Hell, within less then 2 hours after TH is just reported missing, a Sherrifs' officer aksed Manitowoc Co. dispatcher "is Steve Avery in custody yet?" Source: offical reports, audio of MCSO calls, trial transcripts.

The Auto Trader appt. was listed under Jandas' address and phone number. There is no way in hell that Weigert did a reverse phone search off TH phone records and it came back to SA!!! His name shouldn't have even came up in the case. Why did he lie about this FACT? Source: same as above paragraph.

The list of inconsistencies, errors, on CASO reports are too numerous to list here. None of their report have DATES OR TIMESTAMPS. Only is it in the report itself that dates of interviews and info. are reported.

I myself would have an IT team establish when such reports were written off server. I believe by law they must be written within 24 hours???

It doesn't take a rocket scientic to see that it was a set up, a plan to take Avery out for good and make the cival suit disappear. Kathleen Zellner, Attorney at Law, is just about a couple of months away from blowing the case wide open.

Heads are going to roll, I just pray that ALL those involved are held accountable and punished to the MAX. This case and it's final outcome will go down in the history books.

I live in a small town and unless you want to be chastised by the people in power and all their grunts, then you just keep your mouth shut. All the other citizens complain in private about it, but they don't have the guts to go public.