Why the Internet’s obsession with “Making A Murderer” may actually be helpful

At the end of last year, Netflix’s docu-series, Making A Murderer, captured our utmost attention. If we weren’t binge-watching the series, we were researching theories and doing our own sleuthing to get to the bottom of this crazy mystery. Months later, we’re all asking the same question: now what happens? The

The Observer spoke with Carrie Sperling, co-director of the Wisconson Innocence Project, about how Making A Murderer affected their work and what’s to come in the world of wrongful convictions.

“We are using the opportunity to talk about the causes of wrongful conviction with the public,” Carrie explained in the interview, published yesterday. “The Steven Avery case is not actually that unique. It’s unique in that he has been convicted twice, but it’s not unique in the conditions that lead to wrongful convictions that we see every day.”

Presenting these kinds of cases to an eager public with Internet access has completely changed the game when it comes to investigations. “I was on a website recently, and saw all these people doing their own investigation of the case, and coming up with all sorts of ideas,” Carrie continued. “Some of these ideas may be useful to Brendan Dassey’s attorneys and Steven Avery’s attorneys in post-conviction.”

It’s good to know our Making A Murderer-fueled Internet obsessions could actually be helpful, but what does all this mean for cases going forward?

“I’m excited to think about the speed and the power of the Internet to investigate potential innocence cases much more quickly,” Carrie told Observer. “If you know you need an expert for something, maybe you can throw it out there to the world, and see what kind of help the collective intelligence of the Internet can provide.”

Unfortunately, there are a lot of other cases out there worth poking our noses in. “I hope this momentum will lead to further reforms, and a different way of looking at law enforcement,” Carrie concluded.

Hopefully, this means Making A Murder could take on other cases for us to binge, and other ways for us to make a difference in the system.

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