So last weekend I fell down the rabbit hole that is “Making a Murderer.” I have to say when I started I wasn’t really sure what the series was about, only that it was what “everyone” was watching and talking about. Perhaps not knowing how it would turn out was the best way to watch; I had no idea what the end result would be.
At the end, like seemingly everyone who watched, I have an opinion about Steven Avery’s innocence or guilt. But what has stuck with me most in the week since is a lingering unease about the smugness of the DA and police during the interviews and trials. The commentary by police when videoing the Avery home seemed at times gleeful. The DA’s interviews (while generously could be interpreted as confident) leaned more towards smugness. Those in positions of power appeared to be so confident (cocky) in their perceived vindication of their role in the original wrongful conviction that it left cold chills when watching. That type of glibness about the suspect in the face of any murder investigation would feel wrong; the fact the suspect had wrongly spent years in jail because of some of the same officers was abhorrent.
In reading this article, the niggling thoughts in the back of my mind became a bit more focussed; namely, how would I react in circumstances like this? Treating people equitably is kind of a big deal for me, but I’m not always sure I’m doing a good job. The show has prompted me to think about how I do respond to people. It’s easy to rush to judgement of someone because of who they are, or what you think they’ve done, but it’s not as easy to step back and be objective. I’ve always believed you should trust your instincts about people; when your gut is sending up a “red flag” there’s probably a reason. But how do you reconcile those gut reactions with treating people fairly?
I’m not sure there are any easy answers for these questions (at least not for me). I do know it’s something that I hope I remain conscious of in the future.