Newcomers to this blog are advised to begin with the first two posts, Just the Facts, Ma'am and Case Solved, which explain in very general terms why I believe I've solved this case. Some important questions are answered in the following post, Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, Misdirections. After that feel free to browse whatever topics might interest you (see blog archive).

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"Making a Murderer" - Part 2

4. I would now like to consider the DNA evidence that was found. While the prosecution stressed the importance of DNA, supposedly from Avery's sweat, found on the hood  of the victim's vehicle, I see that evidence as questionable. If any of the investigators had been in contact with Avery, or touched any of his clothing, prior to their discovery of the vehicle, then his DNA could have been transferred to the hood indirectly. And I'm afraid the same could be said for Avery's DNA found on the victim's car key, which could also have been transferred inadvertently by an investigator. Before evaluating that evidence, it would be necessary to learn whether strict precautions had been taken to make sure such a transfer could not have occurred, and I doubt that was the case. Same with the victim's DNA found on the spent bullet in the garage. If the same gloves had been used to handle the victim's remains and handle the bullet, there could have been inadvertent transfer. As I've stressed with respect to the Ramsey case, DNA evidence is not always what it seems, and can be seriously misleading.


5. Avery's blood found in the victim's vehicle is another matter entirely. I can think of no innocent reason for it being there. And here I believe the defense lawyers did Avery a huge disservice by insisting on his innocence rather than advising him to plead guilty in return for a reduced sentence. Remember, he had already served 18 years for a crime he supposedly did not commit. If they'd been able to negotiate a sentence of, say, 25 years, the 18 years could have been subtracted from that, and he'd only be in for 7 years. Instead, he is now in for the rest of his life.

The blood evidence in itself should have been enough to convince Avery's legal team that he had no chance, but they recklessly decided to base their defense on a truly preposterous claim: that Avery had been framed by the authorities investigating the case, who had planted his blood in the vehicle, an assertion supported by no evidence whatsoever, and impossible to prove. All they had at their disposal was character assassination and innuendo. Their case was based on the assumption that any piece of evidence implicating their client had to have been planted. Why? Because the evidence is so overwhelming that no other interpretation could possibly get him off. In other words: the blood had been planted; the vehicle had been removed from its original location and driven to Avery property (without anyone noticing, apparently); the DNA had been planted; the victim's remains had been planted; the phone records had been tampered with; the confession of Avery's accomplice (more on him presently) had been co-erced. By a long list of unlikely conspirators!

Why all this extremely risky effort? Because the authorities had been embarrassed by the outcome of the earlier case, in which Avery had been exonerated and was planning to sue, and wanted to prove he was a dangerous criminal after all. In other words: pure innuendo, based on wild assumptions with nothing to back them up.

Then a miracle occurs! Suddenly a vial containing Avery's blood is found in a box with a broken seal, and lo and behold, it looks like the cork has been penetrated by a hypodermic needle. Hmmm. Now how could that have happened? The defense wants us to believe this blood was the source of the blood found in the victim's vehicle and if that's the case, then it was planted, yes. But such an argument can cut both ways. If you want to argue tampering, then who is to say someone connected with the defense team wasn't responsible?

In any case, there is a scientific test that can be used to determine whether the blood found in the vehicle was taken from that vial. As we all know from the OJ Simpson case, blood stored as evidence is mixed with a chemical preservative. If the preservative shows up in the blood evidence from the vehicle, that's a sure sign of tampering and would (finally) provide the evidence desperately needed by the defense that their client is being framed. The test is done by the FBI. And no sign of the preservative is found in the relevant blood sample. :-(

Now at this point there is really no longer any reason for the lawyers to insist on their client's innocence. In the face of such damning evidence, there is only one ethical recourse: advise him to cop a plea bargain and shorten his sentence. But no. Unwilling to admit that they could possibly be wrong, they insist that their client, who is known to have set his own cat on fire, done time for burglary, and forced a woman off the road at gunpoint, has to be innocent, because they were on record as believing 100% in his innocence and would be forced to eat their words.

Instead, they up the already considerable ante by suggesting that the FBI could be "in on it" as well. In addition, they manage to find an "expert" who claims there is no way to tell for sure whether the chemical might be present in the blood after all, because no test is 100% accurate. Sorry, but that won't wash. We're not talking about a trace of the chemical possibly being present, we're talking about a degree of inter-mixture that is very well known and easily determined by a simple chemical test. This is not rocket science. Either the chemical is present or it isn't. And it isn't. End of story!

(to be continued . . . )





58 comments:

  1. Whether Steve Avery did it or not pales in comparison to what's been lost by the American judicial system.

    The real victims here - other than Theresa Halbach - are you and me and countless future defendants because of the judicial errors made in that Wisconsin courtroom and upheld by the appeals court. And I'm talking big errors, like permitting the introduction of contaminated DNA evidence, prohibiting a third party culpability defense, and failing to throw out the results of a single search warrant that expanded to eight days of multiple searches, among others. These are going to be cited now as precedents in future cases, new law, in a manner of speaking. Not good. Not good at all.
    CC

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    1. Sorry, CC, but I see no evidence that contaminated DNA was introduced. To me what seems most likely is inadvertent transfer due to sloppy methodology -- as explained above. It's so easy to jump to conclusions, especially when all our information comes from such a heavily biased source.

      Not sure what's wrong with multiple searches for evidence, but that strikes me as a technical, not an ethical issue. The lawyers try very hard to convince us that evidence was planted during those searches, but they provide NO evidence for such a charge. As I see it, that sort of thing screams red herring. It's a tactic used to suggest reasonable doubt, and nothing more.

      Also I'm not sure how a third party culpability defense could have helped in this case, as no possible third party was ever mentioned by anyone, as I recall.

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  2. While I personally think that Mr. Avery is guilty of the murder, the problem is that, once word gets out that it is routine for police to manufacture fake fingerprints and transfer someones DNA, etc, then forever after even the honest cops will have an impossible time getting a conviction.

    Their factual and legitimate evidence will be mocked and diminished by the defense attorneys, and the jury will have to give credence to the possibility of "a planted bloody glove" and then we will have about a million OJ-Simpson type exonerations, where guilty people are let off because nobody trusts the cops.

    That is why so many people were saying after the OJ exoneration: "The Chicken is Coming Home to Roost", meaning "We Told You So". Many Black Americans (it was a largely black jury on the OJ trial) are way ahead of the curve in accepting what ambitious cops are capable of.

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    1. Looks to me like the DNA transfer could have been inadvertent, as suggested in my post. And I must stress the word "suggested," because for all we know the police may have taken precautions after all. It was up to the defense lawyers to look into this, but they seem to have little knowledge of DNA and little interest in responding to that evidence in any manner other than wild accusations of police corruption. In this sense, their defense strikes me as either amateurish or irresponsible. If there WAS a failure on the part of the police, it was far more likely to be inadvertent than deliberate. Accusing someone of planting evidence is a serious charge and needs to be backed up with evidence of its own.

      The OJ case was very different, because the lab additive WAS found in their blood evidence, proving it was planted. Probably by Fuhrman. What is the difference between the two cases? The evidence.

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  3. I think Avery is the likely culprit, but I don't see how anyone could take Dassey's testimony seriously. It seems obvious the police coaxed a useful statement out of nearly retarded kid coaching him towards the answers, unless I missed some key detail that corroborated his testimony.

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    1. Dassy's interrogation is fascinating. I'll be having more to say on that in my next post.

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  4. The DNA was contaminated by the lab tech. As she testified, the lab protocols required the results therefore be found inconclusive. She violated those protocols, and the trial judge erred in permitting their introduction.

    One search warrant, one search. Not eight days and seven separate entries into that trailer. There should have been seven or eight warrants with carefully prescribed parameters. The trial court judge erred in permitting the results of that single warrant.

    No third party culpability defense was permitted. The trial court judge ruled against it, citing Denney, a Wisconsin case that narrowly defines the legitimate tendency test generally applied in this country. Again, the trial court erred.

    These are violations of civil rights, Doc, and they were upheld at the appellate level and could have long-term ramifications. "Better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer." Blackstone, and a lynchpin of our judicial system.

    The courts must err on the side of innocence. It's the law.
    CC

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    1. Spoken like a good defense lawyer, CC. What you're referring to are technicalities that appear to have no bearing on the case. Or on anyone's civil rights. Which is probably why Avery's appeals were denied.

      Anyone with an understanding of DNA would know that the presence of the lab tech's DNA would have no bearing on the identification of someone else's DNA in the same sample. Since the tech's DNA is known, it could be subtracted from the results without compromising the findings. Yet another red herring, I'm afraid.

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  5. I was a prosecutor for three years right out of law school. I have never represented the defense.

    Those aren't "technicalities", Doc. Those are violations of the letter and spirit of the law. You referred to an ethical issue in a prior post, but we're not talking about a court of ethics or morals, but a court of law. The laws were misapplied, and it's a shame, because he could have been found guilty handily on the strength of the DNA under the hood latch, throwing out the tainted blood evidence and the dubious results of the warrant.
    CC

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  6. And any violation of due process is a violation of one's civil rights.
    CC

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    1. I don't doubt your knowledge of the law, CC. But when evidence is tossed out purely on procedural grounds, regardless of whether or not it's meaningful, that's what is meant by a "technicality." Fortunately the judge understood the science well enough to realize that the so-called "contamination" was beside the point and allowed it. That's what judges are for, to render judgments when disputes arise. If you'd been the lawyer for the defense you might well have been upset by that decision. Lawyers often get upset by judge's decisions. To quote a well known TV commercial: "If you're a lawyer, that's what you do." :-)

      Once that blood had been tested and no sign of the preservative had been found, then it became impossible to argue it had been planted. That one finding totally blew the defense case out of the water. At that point Avery's lawyers should have advised him to cop a plea and take a reduced sentence. As I wrote, his 18 years of false confinement could have been factored into his sentence.

      As for the DNA, it's possible that could have been the result of transfer by a well meaning but naive investigator. I wonder if that possibility was ever considered. I don't see the DNA as decisive unless it's been determined that proper precautions were in place, which is not clear at this point.

      And as for violation of due process, that's for the judge to decide, not a defense lawyer. And if the judge erred, then Avery's lawyers could have brought that up on appeal, which I assume they did. The law is not something mechanical that you can enter into a computer and get the correct answer. Matters such as due process are decided by judges and appellate courts, not lawyers, thank God.

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    2. You're wrong, as you so often are when you comment on the law.

      How 'bout we make a deal - I won't tell you when to insert a deus ex machina in one of your plays, or tell you how to play twelve bar blues, and you don't lecture me about the law?
      CC

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    3. "You're wrong, as you so often are when you comment on the law."

      Well, I have a good excuse. I'm not a lawyer.

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    4. Well CC, legal issues aside, what does the blood evidence tell you, strictly as a private person, not a representative of the legal system? Do you still believe it could have been planted?

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    5. I do not. On the other hand, I think the key likely was.
      CC

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  7. Doc, you said above, "remember, he had already served 18yrs for a crime he supposedly did not commit". Do you think that he was guilty even though they found someone else's DNA?

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    1. From what I've learned about DNA, I've become extremely skeptical of any decision based exclusively on DNA evidence. While I endorse the principles behind the Innocence Project and similar efforts, I often wonder if they've always gotten it right. Many criminals are extremely adept at gaming all sorts of systems, so why not DNA?

      What interests me most about that earlier case is the discrepancy in height between Avery and the other guy, a difference of 10 inches. Did the victim ever mention that her attacker was unusually short? I wonder. Also if in fact the DNA is from this other guy, then you'd imagine that he'd have been tried and convicted by now for that crime, but I don't see any evidence of that. So at this point I have to shrug my shoulders and wonder. It's a lot easier to get someone off on pure DNA evidence, and nothing else, than to convict some other person purely on that same evidence and nothing else.

      The bottom line for me is that I just don't know enough about that earlier case to from an opinion. But I'm not yet willing to assume Avery had to be innocent purely on the basis of DNA.

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    2. I'll throw this out for your consideration, not as an attorney, but as a woman who was attacked once twenty-some years ago in a major metropolitan area, unsuccessfully, as it happens.

      I scuffled with the guy for several minutes, and subsequently described him to police. I was wrong about everything but his jacket and his race; turned out he was much shorter, not as heavy, not as old as I'd thought. Heat of the moment, fear, adrenaline, make assailants seem huge, or so the cops told me later.

      For what it's worth.
      CC

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    3. Thanks, CC. That's helpful. I do think the authorities should have been more diligent in their investigation of that first case. On the other hand, the victim was positive and had no doubts. If her initial description didn't fit, as yours didn't, that would not have carried as much weight as her ID based on both a photo and an in-person lineup. She could certainly have seen how short he was at the lineup, yet she identified him.

      Honest mistake? Planted DNA? Official misconduct? At this point, who can say?

      Is any of this relevant to the 2nd case? No.

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  8. I ask this because the victim said that when she saw gregory allen, he did not look like the picture she had of her attacker, although this could have been due to her believing her attacker as she thought, had already been convicted of the crime.

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    1. If Avery had been convicted purely on the basis of her ID from a photo that would constitute a serious lapse of justice, imo. If there were other aspects of her description that were consistent with Avery's appearance, such as his very distinctive short stature, then I'd be more inclined to accept that he did it, regardless of the DNA, which could also, conceivably, have been planted by some accomplice. If she'd said nothing about his unusual height, then I'd be inclined to believe he didn't do it.

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    2. There have been studies that indicate that traumatized women tend to point the finger at anyone that the police hint is the culprit, even if the perp was wearing a mask, the woman wants to "help" the cops as much as possible to get the guy off the streets. Like what Amanda Knox did when she accused the African bartender of murder.(she is the American girl convicted of murdering her roommate in Italy)

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    3. Thanks Franklin. See CC's comment above, which is consistent with yours.

      By the way, you are consistently posting the same comment more than once, and I'm not sure why. I've been deleting the duplicates, which is why you might not be seeing them. If you are having a problem posting, let me know. The comments are not being moderated, so they should be showing up without much delay.

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  9. From what I've read, Avery's DNA was not found on the hood of Theresa's car, but under the hood latch. Significant, because the car battery had been removed, which raises more unsavory possibilities.
    The car was found x-hundred yards from the trailer. Hard to believe cross-contamination from gloves at that remove and under those circumstances.
    CC

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    1. Yes, under the hood, you're right. As far as cross-contamination is concerned I tend to agree that it's unlikely. But if the defense attorneys were on the ball they'd have double checked to make sure. Not that they didn't -- perhaps they did. It's just that we have no way of knowing for sure and this is always a possibility. To me such a possibility is more than just a red herring because the circumstances could probably be traced.

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  10. And I question your stabbing-throat cutting-plastic sheets-and-dropcloths-in-the-bedroom scenario, Doc. That's a lot of blood to leave no trace, and as you know, I like simple explanations. Isn't it likely, even likelier, he avoided his trailer altogether, hit her over the head, drove the car to that ridge and assaulted her there? Knocks her out again, leaves her in the cargo area of the RAV, removes the body in case she comes to, then goes and takes a call from his girlfriend. Then, for whatever reason, collects his nephew and takes him up to the car, where they assault her again, subsequently kill and burn her.

    And I've got a question for you, Doc, as my knowledge of ballistics is limited: does a .22 have the necessary velocity to pass through a human skull? I thought that caliber lost energy quickly, is usually found in the body, especially a dense human head.
    CC

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    1. Sorry that was so jumbled; multi-tasking.
      CC

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    2. Should have been removes the battery, not removes the body. No more multitasking.
      CC

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    3. As you may recall from my many comments on the Ramsey case, I am extremely wary of assumptions and it is very easy to make them in a complex case such as this. There may have been a lot of blood, but maybe not. Depending on where she was stabbed.

      When we read about someone being stabbed in the neck it's easy to assume she was stabbed in an artery, which would indeed produce a fountain of blood. But maybe she wasn't stabbed in an artery, in which case there wouldn't necessarily be all that much blood. She was also stabbed in the stomach, according to Brendan's account, and as he describes it, the bleeding was limited to the stomach area.

      Since this was not a spontaneous act, but planned in advance, then I have no problem with the possibility he may have prepared a tarp on the floor or took some other measures to prevent blood from staining the bedroom.

      As I recall, Brendan placed the scene of the initial attack in the bedroom, not the car, and since I have no problem accepting Brendan's testimony, then I do think we have to account for the absence of blood in the bedroom, yes. But since Steven had time to prepare, I don't see that as a problem.

      As far as the ballistics is concerned, I'm not an expert either, but again we have to be careful not to make assumptions. She was apparently shot in the head (according to Brendan, whom I believe), but we don't know where, exactly. She might have been shot in a portion of the head where the skull is not that thick, i.e., lower down, near the neck, we have no way of knowing. On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, the DNA found on that slug may have been transferred via one of the investigators and may not be significant evidence after all.

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  11. Then why did he remove the car battery?
    CC

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    1. Sorry, but I don't see the relevance of that question? Can you clarify?

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    2. When they found the car, the battery had been removed, which would explain Avery's DNA under the hood latch. I'm trying to understand why he'd remove the battery unless it was to disable the car and its locks, leading back to my idea he'd left the victim unconscious but not yet dead in the cargo space for a period of time. Just can't think of another reason he'd remove the battery. You?
      CC

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    3. Apparently it was the battery cable that was removed. And the explanation I heard is that he was afraid someone might find her key and use it to track the vehicle, which was initially hidden. This may indeed be what happened. All I'm saying is that indirect transfer is always a possibility unless precautions were taken. From what I've read lately the defense lawyers did suggest that possibility. Unless the police can prove there was no indirect transfer, then that is grounds for reasonable doubt regarding that particular piece of evidence -- (but no other).

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    4. You suggest transfer DNA on the bullet too in your original post above. According to you these cops never changed their gloves.

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  12. I can't bear to sit through that awful program again, but I seem to recall an M.E. holding up burned fragments from the temple region as well as some other part of the skull, or am I misremembering?
    CC

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  13. Not quibbling with you, Doc. I absolutely agree Avery did it, and I think you're right he felt he could get away with it by claiming he was being framed, again. It's just human nature to try to make puzzle pieces fit, and it seems there should have been some compelling reason to remove that battery.
    CC

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    1. See above. Pressing the button on the key, if it were found, would trigger a sound from the car and lead investigators to it. If the battery had been disconnected there would be no response.

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  14. I had a 1999 Rav4, top of the line with all the bells and whistles and it did not have a button on the key that made a noise. It came with two keys that looked very different. The key they found looked like the second spare key.

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  15. It didnt even have remote locking and unlocking so no beep like nowadays.

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    1. See http://www.carandtruckremotes.com/1999-toyota-rav4-remote.html

      I don't know the details of what model or year vehicle she had, but the remote technology would have been available at the time and maybe Steven just wanted to make sure it couldn't be used. Other than that, I see no reson for him to disconnect the battery.

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  16. Wonder if he took the cat out as well as the battery, more scrap value.

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  17. Just read that a group on Reddit has raised enough money to buy the trial transcripts, plan to post them somewhere within a week. That should help. They still need contributions to purchase the evidence and pre-trial motion transcripts, if anyone is so inclined.
    CC

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  18. To clarify some points:

    1. From what I read yesterday via Yahoo (not necessarily the most reliable source), it was common practice to insert blood evidence into a vial using a hypodermic needle. That could explain the hole in the stopper.

    2. I also read that the preservative is more difficult to identify than previously assumed so it's possible the blood in question could have been planted after all. Apparently a more sensitive test is being planned.

    3. The blood that got tainted with the technician's blood was from the bullet, not the vehicle, so that contamination has no bearing on the blood found there.

    4. The vehicle was apparently sealed immediately after being found and taken to the state forensic lab. Presumably the lab techs would have taken proper precautions to prevent unintended transfer -- unless they too were "in on it."

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  19. I strongly dispute your #1. Blood is introduced into a vial, then stoppered. Why, under any circumstances, would it be sealed and then the blood introduced? Flies in the face of reason as well as good forensic evidence collection.
    CC

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    1. According to the Yahoo piece, this was the testimony of people working at the lab. That's all I know.

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  20. I'm sorry but there's no way Steve Avery (IQ of 70) and his far intellectually inferior nephew were able to rape, and kill her in the residence without leaving any trace of evidence. Even if Avery was aware of how damning DNA evidence can be, you're suggesting a Dexter Morgan level of competence. We're talking zero evidence there. According to prosecutors, she was killed in the garage. In that hoarders paradise. A seasoned CSI couldn't clean up that effectively.

    I recommend reading this short pro-defense article that highlights details omitted from the documentary.

    http://www.avclub.com/article/read-pro-steven-avery-list-what-was-left-out-makin-230634

    -Z

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    1. She was apparently raped in the bedroom, then taken to the garage where she was shot.

      I went to that website and what I saw was a long list of what I would call red herrings. I'm thinking of writing a blog post on that topic soon. It's just a lot of scattershot "observations" that contradict one another. One example is the lack of blood or DNA evidence in the bedroom. If you want to argue that evidence was planted (which they certainly do), then why wasn't evidence planted in the bedroom? If some of Teresa's DNA was planted on the bullet, then why didn't they plant some in the bedroom, perhaps on a headboard or on the floor under the bed? I find it much simpler to assume Avery was prepared with multiple sheets and probably a tarp on the floor. Why not? Because he has a low IQ? Sorry but this is not rocket science.

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  21. Of course, I'm going to argue that evidence was planted in that bedroom - the key. I have no problem believing the cops helped things along by finding the car during an illicit search, and by dropping that key after six previous searches found nothing in the trailer, but I question they'd go so far as to tamper with an evidence vial and plant blood.

    Why bother to take her to the garage to shoot her when the gun was hanging right there over the bed? Are you suggesting this guy needed a bed, needed a certain ambiance to commit assault and, presumably, rape? I can see the whole thing playing out in the garage, but I do not accept this DNA-savvy guy doing the deed, any part of the deed, in his own nest.
    CC

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  22. And before you jump all over me with what Brendan "saw", I don't doubt that Brendan saw an assault and saw a murder. He was a 16-year old whose life experience came from television: sex happens on a bed; women are bound in chains; murders are committed by slashing and stabbing. There's some truth in what he says, but not whole truth, and certainly not a coherent, fixed storyline.
    CC

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  23. I'm just interested in where you state since he served time already for a crime he didn't commit and made a deal the time served would be taken off ? Is that a thing? Do people who serve time for a crime they were found innocent qualify for a reduction of jail time in a new crime? I couldn't get through the Avery doc so I'm not sure if it was touched on, but I've never heard of that and am now quite curious. Do you have any links to cite this? Thanks

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  24. That question is for Doc, I assume, as that was his statement, and one with which I disagree. In my experience every crime is treated as a discrete entity.
    CC

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    1. I don't know of any precedent. But this is very unusual case, to say the least. Sentencing is done by the judge and an argument of that sort could have been presented to the judge by Avery's defense for sure. I don't think there's a law or even a precedent to deal with that, one way or another, so it would probably be up to the judge to decided. Of course this is a moot point, since Avery did not offer a plea deal and was sentenced to life instead of a certain number of years -- from which his years already spent in prison could have been subtracted. I'll reiterate: I think Avery was badly served by lawyers who cared more about their "mission" than their client.

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  25. And I'll repeat, patiently, that attorneys do not decide on a defense strategy, but must follow their client's direction. Avery insisted from the beginning that he was being framed, again. Buting and Strang could present alternatives, could advise on a lesser plea and a deal, and may in fact have done so, but ultimately it was Avery's decision, and his attorneys had no choice but to present the best case they could muster.
    CC

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    1. When the choice lies between a client agreeing to a plea bargain in an open and shut case and blatant character assassination of law enforcement personnel based purely on a set of unsubstantiated assumptions then, if it were me, I'd simply bow out.

      There are precedents for lawyers quitting cases, as I'm sure you know, CC. I can't imagine that a lawyer could be required to do something unethical because his client demands it. I know you see this case very differently, but from where I stand the behavior of Buting and Strang was indeed unethical, regardless of any obligation they might have to their client.

      While some of the evidence that turned up, such as the key and the "magic bullet" might possibly have been planted, there was in fact no real evidence of that. And the blood evidence turned out not to contain any trace of the preservative from the questioned vial. Moreover, taking the big picture into account, it's simply inconceivable that LE would go to all that trouble and take all that risk, including the burning of a body and the transfer of the remains just to set Avery up when there would have been far easier ways of doing that -- such as planting the victim's blood all over Avery's bedroom -- which obviously was NOT done.

      So it should have been clear from the start to both lawyers that accusing LE of framing Avery was 1. unethical and 2. bound to fail as a defense strategy. IMO the only ethical choice for them was to recuse themselves. Or do you see all lawyers as beyond good and evil?

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    2. I do not. Do you see all members of law enforcement so?

      Your argument is facile. Public defenders represent clients they know are guilty as a matter of course, and are ethically bound to do so. Buting and Strang did not violate the Code of Professional Responsibility, merely your personal code of appropriate behavior, an important distinction.
      CC

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    3. As I see it, there is a difference between defending a client and deliberately defaming someone for no other reason than winning a case. I realize that many lawyers have no problem with such tactics and I'm assuming you're right about them being allowed to get away with it. But that doesn't make it right.

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  26. You're right though, there's no law regarding sentencing. Rather, judges follow Sentencing Guidelines that vary from state to state.
    CC

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  27. I believe we're arguing about Ethics vs ethics. In my professional world there is, regrettably, a difference. When I left the State's Attorney's office I was offered a job with a defense firm and turned it down, largely because of that difference. I personally would have refused to represent Avery, but you canmot accuse B&S of a literal Ethical violation.
    CC

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