A popular documentary series has put criminal defense law in the spotlight. The Netflix original series "Making a Murderer" is an episodic documentary detailing the case of a Wisconsin man and his nephew's fight for liberty in a criminal defense case. The case of Steven Avery has gained national attention following the popularity of the documentary series. The series highlights allegations and key moments of what appears to be evidence planting and improper investigation practices.
In the documentary, we see a thorough and overzealous investigation of Steven Avery's home. For those unfamiliar with the series, Avery had been wrongfully convicted of a crime and was in a lawsuit against the jurisdiction responsible for his conviction, Manitowoc County. Very early on in the course of the lawsuit, a woman was murdered, with all the evidence pointing to Mr. Avery. Due to a conflict of interest, Manitowoc County officers were not allowed to do any investigation, and the initial police work was done by the neighboring county.
The documentary reports that his home is searched for nearly a week, when suddenly the key to the victim's car turns up in Steven Avery's room, in plain sight. The officers claimed that it was near a dresser that they had investigated, but only after two Manitowoc County officers were on the premises. The documentary also heavily suggests that some blood was planted in the victim's car as well. When it comes to trial, the defense team highlights this and makes several motions to remove the evidence due to its suspicious nature, yet they are all denied by the judge. The documentary also suggests that at even the slightest suggestion that officers involved in the search may have acted maliciously, the prosecutor cracks down hard on the case as a sort of punishment for suggesting that cops are anything less than infallible.
Do Officers Really Plant Evidence?
While an air of confrontation between citizens and law enforcement does more harm than good, the truth of the matter is that some cops do plant evidence. An article from the Free Thought Project highlights a Florida officer's remarks on his process for planting evidence. Similarly, a Philadelphia officer has also admitted to planting evidence as well. The Innocence Project, who was involved in Avery's initial exoneration, also reports events in Alabama involving police planting evidence.
If you believe you are the victim of planted or fictitious evidence, you should discuss it with your attorney. A skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to motion to remove, or suppress, the evidence, or at least modify how it is to be used in court. Motions to suppress evidence have many specific rules to them, however, suppressing harmful evidence can be the key to avoiding a conviction.
If you or a loved on is facing criminal charges, contact criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi today.