Like so many people I binge watched the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. The biggest surprise I have had lately is how many non-lawyers have asked my opinion whether Steve and Brendan are guilty. I’m always a little skeptical watching shows that show a mere fraction of the actual trial since there is often “boring” parts to a trial that are still crucial to the entire case. I also trust our judicial system and believe that even if there are some crooked cops or biased jurors that as the case goes through the appeal process that a higher court could correct any wrongs at a lower court. I also have never seen the type of scenario played out in the show in any court here in Washington so it is a bit difficult to relate to the situation. My end thought, though, is that our criminal justice system requires that a guilty verdict can only be reached if all jurors find beyond ALL reasonable doubt that the person is guilty. The sheer number of people that question the evidence and even my own personal feelings that I cannot confidently say that Steve and Brendan are guilty means that I would be required and should come back with a not guilty verdict. Occasionally allowing a guilty person to go free is a lot better than having an innocent person go to prison. Isn’t that the system we want?
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