The highly anticipated Netflix original, “Making a Murderer season 2, has finally dropped and it is nothing like the last. While the storyline of Steven Avery continues from the first season with him still fighting for his innocence, it now incorporates his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was also tried for the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach.
The documentary follows the life of Avery as he fights for his innocence once again after being exonerated by DNA. However now he finds himself right back where he started; convicted for a gruesome crime he did not commit.
The new season does not hesitate to confront the media, how it responded to the first season and inevitably how it affected the second. It is no doubt that when Making a Murdered first came out on Netflix December 15, 2015 the people and media took to it fast. Both positive and negative responses flooded every social media site and news station as people watched the season play out.
The new season opens us up to the mass media’s frenzied reaction in response to the first season. Fox News, The Today Show, Access Hollywood, ET, ABC and more pan the screen all with the headline--”Making a Murderer.” From twitter to celebrities, anyone and everyone is talking about it.
The show caused many to grow enraged with the case and take action to fight for Steven Avery’s release, “Petitions calling for the release of Steven Avery continue to grow. The most activity the site [change.org] has ever seen,” said a host on Access Hollywood. The release of the show even resulted in many wanting the president himself to get involved, however the White House responded “Since steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them.”
The media’s role in this case doesn't stop there. From petitions to riots the show caused an uproar of responses, something no one expected to happen. The media’s role in the case was something the second season made sure to touch on because it undoubtedly could have an effect on the ruling and inevitably Avery’s future.
The documentary managed to catch the attention of Kathleen Zellner, one of the most renowned private lawyers in the United states, who won 17 exonerations. After Zellner watched the first season of Making a Murderer, she knew that if anyone could free Avery, it was her. Zellner is not like any ordinary lawyer. She states in the documentary “I told Steven Avery the same thing I tell everyone. If you hire me and you're guilty, trust me, I'll do a way better job than the prosecutors.”
“I will find out if you’re guilty,” said Zellner. “And we’re going to do testing. We can’t control the results. The results will be turned over to both sides. You would have to be an idiot to be hiring me to prove that you’re guilty.”
The second season breaks off into two parts then, the first is the battle of Avery and Zellner. This case relies heavily on testing, recreating events and DNA sampling/testing. The second is Dassey and his post conviction lawyer, Laura Nirider, which focuses on “words and words only” as Nirider herself describes it.
With one crime committed, but two very different cases, the new season seems to have a lot in store. Both Avery and Dassey now have well renowned lawyers and teams behind them, compared to the first season when no one had even heard about Avery and his case.
The release of the first season without a doubt has made an impact on the trial against Avery and Dassey by gaining their case large recognition. However, will it be enough to help them get out of jail? We will just have to watch and see.