Tuesday, August 09, 2016

So Where Would YOU Want To Go On Trial? In Italy Or In The U.S.?

Posted by Peter Quennell

One reason so many still follow Meredith’s case is because justice has not yet been SEEN to be done.

Maybe 9 out of 10 Italians think this.

Over the years the Italian justice system has become immensely tilted against prosecutors and victims at trial. Right now it is one of the toughest - or if you like, most lenient - anywhere in the world.

Read for example Nicki and Commissario Montalbano for two among our numerous posts on this. 

We have still not seen even ONE American lawyer claim that after the first trial in 2009 which found RS and AK guilty that there were strong grounds for an appeal.

In the US, back in 2009, full prison terms would have been begun.

And in fact virtually nothing at the 2009 trial was challenged in the appeal. But the defenses subversively organized to get Civil Judge Hellmann instead of Criminal Judge Chiari to preside, and in 2011 a farcical “not guilty” outcome was the result.

Then there was a THIRD jury trial, in 2013-14, which (as so often in Italy) threw out the not guilty outcome of the previous appeal trial.

And finally, in 2015, due to more subversive defense machinations with a little mafia help, the final Supreme Court appeal was assigned to the FIFTH Chambers, for the first murder appeal that Chambers has ever heard.

A second farcical “not guilty” outcome was the result.

Say what you like about the American system, there is not remotely any parallel in its judicial history to all of that.  Quite the opposite in fact. We have had various posts pointing to an increasingly hard line in the US.

This is one not necessarily sought or appreciated by prosecutors or judges, who usually like trials and want to see juries of peers call the final shots.

It is actually being imposed by Federal and State politicians, many of whom were prosecutors themselves. Bizarre jury outcomes as at the OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony trials contributed somewhat to this trend.

One result is a trend the exact opposite of Italy’s - the increasing elimination of juries and even of trials altogether. The New York Times explains.

The criminal trial ended more than two and a half years ago, but Judge Jesse M. Furman can still vividly recall the case. It stands out, not because of the defendant or the subject matter, but because of its rarity: In his four-plus years on the bench in Federal District Court in Manhattan, it was his only criminal jury trial…

The Southern District held only 50 criminal jury trials last year, the lowest since 2004, according to data provided by the court. The pace remains slow this year.

In 2005, records show, there were more than double the number of trials: 106. And decades ago, legal experts said, the numbers were much higher.

“It’s hugely disappointing,” said Judge Jed S. Rakoff, a 20-year veteran of the Manhattan federal bench. “A trial is the one place where the system really gets tested. Everything else is done behind closed doors.”

Legal experts attribute the decline primarily to the advent of the congressional sentencing guidelines and the increased use of mandatory minimum sentences, which transferred power to prosecutors, and discouraged defendants from going to trial, where, if convicted, they might face harsher sentences.

In 1997, according to federal courts data nationwide, 3,200 of 63,000 federal defendants were convicted in jury trials; in 2015, there were only 1,650 jury convictions, out of 81,000 defendants.

Former Judge John Gleeson, who in March stepped down from the federal bench in Brooklyn to enter private practice, noted in a 2013 court opinion that 81 percent of federal convictions in 1980 were the product of guilty pleas; in one recent year, the figure was 97 percent.

Judge Gleeson wrote that because most pleas are negotiated before a prosecutor prepares a case for trial, the “thin presentation” of evidence needed for indictment “is hardly ever subjected to closer scrutiny by prosecutors, defense counsel, judges or juries.”

“The entire system loses an edge,” he added, “and I have no doubt that the quality of justice in our courthouses has suffered as a result.”

The article lists a number of resulting ill effects. Will the Knox apologists be up in arms? Dont hold your breath.


The right to jury trial was established in the UK (and subsequently used in America back when Britain ruled the roost) in the magna carta when it said that no free man should suffer punishment without “the lawful judgement of his peers”. The American system has always used juries in many more instances than we in the UK do. We mainly use juries in criminal trials.

If America has been increasingly moving away from jury trials, it’s a worrying development and will absolutely have the opposite effect to that of justice being seen to be done.

In the UK, we have seen similar things happening with less jury trials and much more mandatory punishments being on the statute books that circumvent jury trial, or indeed any trial. The resultant feeling people have is that the justice system isn’t there to serve them but to rule over them. The same can be said of our Police force.

The increasingly exorbitant costs of having jury trials may well also be a factor. Shyster lawyers don’t help much in this regard! Justice (regardless of guilt or innocence) is still available to those who can pay for it. A two tier system where the distance between the tiers gets wider with every passing year.

Posted by davidmulhern on 08/09/16 at 04:14 PM | #

Hi davidmulhern

That third para certainly applies to many in the US too, though a weakness here has been that jury duty could be avoided if one had good education and a well-paying job.

Juries are being less used at the Federal level and for complex business crimes because juries averaging only high school education were getting out of their depths.

The best things about the Italian system is that jury duty is compulsory for all and there are minimum education requirements. Those juries are substantially more smart.

The worst thing is that juries are used also for many appeals, as described in the post. Appeals are for the most part launched by the defenses and so it is mainly the defense points of view that come across.

One jurist actually complained after the 2013-14 Nencini appeal that she actually had no idea what the prosecution case was.

Cardiol and James Raper especially in their analyses could tell that that applied also to the jury for the Hellmann appeal.

http://www.truejustice.org/ee/index.php?/tjmk/C852/  (scroll down)

The Fifth Chambers also got no competent presentation of the prosecution case at all. The prosecution was not even there.

What they did get was defense counsel Bongiorno etc droning on by the hour about how biased and incompetent were the police.

Then the Maresca/Bruno report did a terrible job of summarising the prosecution case - while largely quoting Bongiorno word for word.

James Raper and Machiavelli and Catnip in their analyses of Maresca/Bruno all highlighted that


PM Renzi’s constitutional and justice reforms have been approved by parliament and are now set to go to popular vote. They include a number of measures to speed up justice - including using few or no juries at appeal.


Had AK and Rs gone on trial with all those reforms in effect, they would right now be sitting in what I think you call the nick or chokey or clink.

Parliament and the Council of Magistrates DID learn something from the really stupid current outcome of our case and the negative vibes Italian watchers gave and still give off.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/09/16 at 07:58 PM | #

Sorry, kind of OT but does anyone know about this? Who is producing it and who is behind it? Knox camp or neutral?


Posted by Deathfish on 08/10/16 at 10:40 AM | #

Hi Deathfish,

The producers will either claim Amanda Knox was railroaded by corrupt and incompetent cops or they will pretend the case is a complex whodunnit that will be never solved. It seems journalists are not interested in making documentaries about killers who have got away with murder.

After the huge success of Making of a Murderer, I strongly suspect Netflix will claim Amanda Knox was an innocent abroad and that she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice. It’s a sad fact that most journalists covering the case couldn’t be bothered to read the official court reports.

Posted by The Machine on 08/10/16 at 11:29 AM | #

Sadly it is true what you say TM.

However, I can’t understand why any so called innocent person would continue to hog the limelight as opposed to slipping into the background and trying to lead a normal anonymous life.

Her numerous ‘boyfriends’ since her release contradict the angelic studious virgin image propagated by her expensive PR campaign along with many other things about her character suggest the former PR company cannot paper over the cracks anymore so we what we see now is a slow unraveling into the truth. Most people other than her family have seen this from day one.

Unfortunately money doesn’t talk - it swears, so the Knox family I would imagine where falling over themselves getting their grubby hands on this deal when approached by the producers of this commercial enterprise.

Posted by Deathfish on 08/10/16 at 11:52 AM | #

Hi Deathfish & Machine

Good catch. Always welcome. See this past post describing this Netflix production back on 3 May when we first heard about the production.


Comments below that one are are pretty bearish about Knox’s prospects of being given a boost here. And since 3 May at least two things have happened.

(1) Dr Mignini, who had already been interviewed, was warned and insisted on seeing the final cut of his segments before giving his approval to their airing. He believes this could be not quite what we fear, yet another CNN/CBS exculpation.

(2) Netflix has ceased to be a stockmarket darling with a 25% loss in its stock price since Christmas. A main problem is that transmitting movies worldwide requires a lot of bandwidth and in many countries bandwidth is expensive so global expansion will be a lot slower than they were touting. What it does not need is to lose a whole lot of viewers via a controversy.

We were pretty pessimistic about the Lifetime movie but that did Knox no good at all, and neither did the Andrea Vogt/BBC production, so fingers crossed.

Actually I see it as any news is good news. Worst for us, I think, is that the case totally drops off the radar while so many things are still playing out in Italy and while we still have big projects pending.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 08/10/16 at 01:28 PM | #

Hi Pete,

I had forgotten about that post but having just re read it I remember it now.

I understand your point regarding dropping off the radar (from our point of view) but can’t see why, other than for monetary reasons her people are still flogging this long dead horse.

Dead horse in the sense of Knox - are they going to come out with anything new? I don’t think so.

How long, with the help of some would say dubious media outlets, are they going to continue the great lie? Doesn’t she or her handlers think she has done enough now?

It is looking like filthy lucre is swearing here with the painful poor me story and her ridiculous pseudo intellectual image, building her as the great writer. It is actually pathetic.
I do believe it will come back and bite her on her fat ass someday, and hope the day is soon.

One thing normal people cannot fail to see is the amount of ‘boyfriends’ she has been going through, when in contrast she has at the time professed undying love to all of them.

Everyday that goes by and every word she utters makes Meredith look better than her.

Posted by Deathfish on 08/10/16 at 04:08 PM | #


the Netflix documentary will premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) next month (September 2016) before a global release September 30th. The Daily Mail article says that Knox is now a journalist. The title of the doc will be “Amanda Knox”.

Best part of this news story is the good photo of a beaming Meredith sitting on a blue gray couch showing off a lovely silver bracelet with silver heart, a gift to her.

As others have commented, this documentary about Meredith’s murder will probably hint heavily that Knox was unjustly convicted.

Comments beneath today’s Daily Mail article about the upcoming documentary are mostly anti-Knox: remarks like “murderer”, she makes my skin crawl, she’s guilty in every way, and one from Tiger_Tiger who says he knew Meredith, and that the Italians did not get it wrong about multiple attackers, and to remember Mez.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/10/16 at 06:11 PM | #

Hi, Deathfish, Mette Heide a Danish producer was originally listed as the producer but only now we know Stephen Robert Morse is also a producer, as reported on PMF Net.

Source: http://tvnewsinfo.blog.rs/blog/tvnewsinfo/generalna/2016/08/09/netflix-to-bow-amanda-knox-doc-films-from-leonardo-dicaprio-werner-herzog-at-toronto-festival

IMDB still doesn’t have any info which is odd. Source: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5952332/?ref_=fn_tt_tt_2 

Funny how early news releases didn’t mention his involvement, only listing Mette Heide as producer.

According to the LA Times Source: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-movies-toronto-film-festival-documentaries-amanda-knox-leonardo-dicaprio-20160809-snap-story.html

“With “Amanda Knox,”  Brian McGinn and Rod Blackhurst examine the incidents that led to both the Italian conviction and ultimate acquittal for an alleged murder by the title subject. The film is likely to engender passions, and possibly even competing viewpoints, on both sides of the Atlantic.”

For those who don’t know, Steven Morse is an Amanda Knox groupie and having read his one sided reporting on the case I doubt it will be fair, not that I’ll be watching it.

Pity that Mignini was warned not to cooperate with the film makers but went ahead any way.

Posted by Ergon on 08/11/16 at 12:32 AM | #

Amanda Knox the documentary - THAT remains to be seen. I’m a true crime fan, I admit it, but since Serial the whole monetization of Crime News has taken a sickening turn—it’s become National Enquirer/Faux News reality show.


Posted by mojo on 08/12/16 at 12:15 AM | #

Hi Mojo,

When I saw the advertisement for Making of a Murderer, I knew for certain that it would be yet another documentary about someone who has been convicted of or charged with a murder they allegedly didn’t commit.

Media organisations have absolutely no intention of killing this particular golden goose. If Adnan Syed and Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are released from prison - and they shouldn’t because they’re all guilty - media organisations like CBS and Netflix will desperately try to fill the vacuum and find another alleged case of an innocent person being convicted of a murder they didn’t commit.

These documentaries have a become a predictable cliche. It’s almost as if TV producers have a checklist of things to include in order to whip up Joe Public and naive and gullible Guardian readers into a frenzy e.g. the police were under pressure to solve the case, the cops are corrupt or incompetent, the witness was questioned without a lawyer, there’s no DNA evidence, the motive makes no sense, the defendant has a low IQ so their testimony must be false because people with a low IQ are incapable of committing murder etc.

Posted by The Machine on 08/12/16 at 04:38 AM | #

More information on producer Stephen Morse’s pro-Knox bias which he is trying to hide as he sells his documentary http://www.perugiamurderfile.net/viewtopic.php?p=130882#p130882

Posted by Ergon on 08/12/16 at 02:17 PM | #

And him attacking Andrea Vogt’s reporting http://www.perugiamurderfile.net/viewtopic.php?p=130883#p130883 Should be interesting if someone watches it on Netflix from Sept 30.

Posted by Ergon on 08/12/16 at 03:45 PM | #

I’m probably clutching at straws here but I’m hopeful that the upcoming Knox documentary might not be as bad as people on here think it’s going to be. From a pro Knox stance at least.

The big difference here is that the Avery documentary was about two men who were firmly in jail, although I hear this morning that Dassey is to be released as his confession was deemed coerced and underhand (a charge that is irrefutable to be honest).

In Knox’s case, the heavy lifting has already been done as the little rat is already free and has had her supposed innocence proven by a very dodgy final appeal.

If even a small amount of balance is shown in the Knox documentary and things like the final reasoning report showing she literally had Meredith’s blood one her hands and was at the scene on the night of the murder are brought out, then the Knox camp may be sorely disappointed with the overall effect of this documentary.

It may just raise on a much wider platform than has been managed so far by the sterling efforts of Pete and his talented team of Meredith advocates, enough questions in people’s minds to have the opposite effect to the one the filmmakers and Knox’s family may be hoping for.

I’ll certainly be watching and commenting. I remain hopeful until I see it for myself.

Posted by davidmulhern on 08/13/16 at 05:40 AM | #

HI David,

There’s no evidence that Brendan Dassey’s confession was coerced. Furthermore, he confessed to his mother.

The Attorney General explained why Brendan Dassey’s testimony is credible:

“And they had good reason to do so. There are three strong indicia that Dassey told the truth when he admitted to helping Avery. On February 28, 2006, the day before the March 1, 2006 confession, Wiegert received a lab report that lead had been detected on a defect found on skull bone fragments (193:55-56). Wierget suspected based on this report that Halbach had been shot (193:56). Dassey’s confession confirmed that Avery shot Halbach in the head (79:34:50). He further told Wiegert and Fassbender that Avery shot Halbach “about ten” times (79:34:60). This fit with the ten or eleven shell casings police found in their November searches (114:96). Dassey said Avery shot Halbach on the left side of her head (79:34:93). The forensic anthropologist “refit” three bone fragments together and determined they came from the left side of the head (114:226-27; 116:78). And Dassey told Wiegert and Fassbender that Avery shot Halbach when they were in the garage (79:34:59). Police obtained a search warrant that same day (114:56; 117:25-26). The search of the garage yielded a bullet fragment embedded in the garage floor and a bullet under an air compressor (114:63-64). An analysis of a DNA sample from one bullet revealed Halbach as the source of the DNA (115:76). And that bullet had been fired from a rifle found in Avery’s bedroom ( 114:15-16, 197, 208-209).

“Dassey also told Wiegert and Fassbender that Avery hid the key to Halbach’s car in his dresser (79:34:70-71). On March 8, 2006, police executed another search warrant on Avery’s bedroom (114:106; 117:26). That search yielded the key to Halbach’s car with a blue key fob attached (114:106-107). Halbach’s sister identified the blue fob as a lanyard she gave Halbach (113:129).”

The Attorney General also explained why there was absolutely nothing wrong with the investigators’ conduct:

“At various times during the interview the investigators encouraged Dassey to provide details to them by appealing to his sense of honesty (46:8). Both investigators spoke in a normal speaking tone with no raised voices, no hectoring, or threats of any kind during the entire interview, including the admonitions (46:8).

“Nothing on the videotape visually depicts Dassey as being agitated, upset, frightened, or intimidated by the questions of either investigator (46:8-9). His demeanor was steady throughout the actual questioning (46:9). He displayed no difficulty in understanding the questions asked of him (46:9). He answered the questions put to him (46:9). At no time did he ask to stop the interview or request that his mother or a lawyer be present (46:9).

“Sometimes he revised his answers after being prodded to be truthful or being told by his questioners that they knew his answer was either incomplete or untrue and he should be honest (46:9).

“On occasion, the interviewers purported to know details which, in fact, were not true or which represented uncorroborated theories of the crime which they presented to Dassey as factually accurate in order to draw information from him (46:9).

“The interviewers made no promises of leniency to Dassey (46:10). He was told, “we can’t make any promises, but we’ll stand behind you no matter what you did” (46:10; 79:34:4). “I want to assure you that Mark and I are both in your corner. We’re on your side” (46:10; 79:34:3). “[W]e don’t get honesty here. I’m your friend right now, but I gotta – I gotta believe in you, and if I don’t believe in you, I can’t go to bat for you” (46:10; 79:34:10). “We’re in your corner” (46:10; 79:34:10).


“The interviewers’ appeals to honesty were nothing more than a reminder to Dassey that he had a moral duty to tell the truth (46:9). In the context of this interview, the Court finds that this tactic of misleading Dassey by occasionally pretending to know more than they did was neither improper nor coercive because it did not interfere with Dassey’s power to make rational choices (46:9-10).

“Interviewers statements such as “we’ll stand behind you; we’re in your corner; I’ll go to bat for you” were an attempt to achieve a rapport with Dassey and convince him that a truthful account of events would be in his best interest (46:10-11).

“Under a totality of the circumstances test, which I’m using here, given Brendan Dassey’s relevant personal characteristics as set forth in the previous findings and on the record in this case, the State has met its burden by showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the statements made by Brendan Dassey to Investigators Wiegert and Fassbender, and which are the subject of this motion, were the product of Brendan Dassey’s free and unconstrained will reflecting deliberateness of choice. In short, they were voluntary statements” (46:11).


Posted by The Machine on 08/13/16 at 09:08 AM | #

Hi, The Machine, while the evidence is incontrovertible Avery and Dassey were both present for Teresa Halbach’s murder the fact remains that Dassey, born October 19, 1989 had just turned 16 then and still was a minor when arrested and interrogated shortly after.

The lack of legal or adult representation, and that they separated him from his family even when he was just a ‘witness’ was why the court quashed the conviction.

Cases are often lost because of lapses like this, but we as advocates for the victims have to balance our quest for justice with also, respect for due process. Otherwise, we all lose.

Steven Avery, however, I hope remains in prison for the rest of his life.

Posted by Ergon on 08/13/16 at 11:32 PM | #

Interview with Steven Avery’s lawyer oComing up shortly. LBC radio. (UK)

Posted by DavidB on 08/14/16 at 08:41 AM | #

Interview with Steven Avery’s lawyer oComing up shortly. LBC radio. (UK)

Posted by DavidB on 08/14/16 at 08:41 AM | #

@davidmulhern, I’m sure we are all hoping as you do for the “Amanda Knox” documentary to backfire on the biased producer Mr. Morse (thanks to Ergon for a heads up on that pro-Knox guy, with links). Who does Morse think he is, “Inspector Morse”?

According to posts Morse removed but which remain thanks to the Wayback Machine, he was in the UK as a young student himself when Meredith was murdered. Then he got some EU money$$ and went down to Perugia to personally investigate the case in 2011. Knox was still in prison at the time.

Morse claims he went down there open minded. Seems not, if he fell for the Knox PR lemmings he met there. He fell hard, and was soon writing about trolls who he thought were against Knox due to her superior physical attractiveness. That tells you a lot about Morse’s motives right there.

Morse also thinks anyone who believes Knox is guilty may be simply jealous of her study abroad opportunities.

He claims to speak Italian. He claims to have attended the trial. He attacked professional journalists if they saw Knox as guilty.

Morse had extremely negative things to say about Mignini after Morse bought the dull lie of two poor railroaded innocents who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

So as The Machine greatly feared, this documentary will be slanted in Knox’s favor since Morse is producing it. Morse sees a moneytrain.

Another red flag as Ergon points out: Knox is promoting this documentary on social media, so it must not show any incriminating evidence against her (that she knows about or can realize yet, ah there’s the rub. We live in hope).

So I eagerly support davidmulhern’s good faith that the truth despite Mr. Morse will come out.

Perhaps the documentary may surface the hidden gems in Supreme Court ruling that conclude Knox was actually PRESENT at the cottage at time of murder, and had blood on her hands. How was the lead buried in this report?

It’s mindboggling how the Supremes can state Knox was there yet couldn’t connect the dots beyond a reasonable doubt after those facts were drawn? But will Morse be honest enough to include this nugget from Supreme Court? (probably not, but who knows?)

Many viewers will see through the PR camouflage and deduce the truth as followers of true crime cases try to do, despite the cherrypicked facts presented by Morse’s documentary. There’s the added crunch of time limitations on a TV program.

Better yet, many viewers of the doc will go straight to this website TJMK and PMF.net and PMF.org and check out the real facts for themselves, and perhaps give their future insights to us. One thing leads to another. The road to truth has many turns.

On the Avery case I absolutely agree that he and Dassey are guilty of Teresa’s death. Mostly Avery, he’s the real dirtbag.

Dassey has been released due to his being age 15 at time of interrogation without parents or lawyer. I don’t think his statements were coerced, but a federal judge has released him.

On the bright side, before his release Dassey gave powerful information that was absolutely used to convict the evil Stephen Avery.

From a moral perspective what seems worse than Dassey being freed is how Avery the devil that he is tried to pull his own young relative into a gruesome murder, knowing full well what time behind bars would mean for the young boy.

All Avery was concerned about was his craving for vengeance for his earlier jail term and his seething hatred for females, and a deep desire to do violence. He used his own young relative, a boy still taking a bus to school, Brendan Dassey as an ignorant accomplice. So it’s OK with me that Dassey is free because he didn’t really shoot Teresa himself, it was all instigated by Avery, and it will irk Avery to see him walk, despite Avery’s lies to the contrary. Avery wasn’t able to totally ruin Dassey’s life like he wanted to. Avery was jealous of a happier family member, a young guy who probably looked up to him (due to low intelligence of course).

I hope Avery is never ever sprung from behind bars, especially if caused by Netflix’s corrupt influence. Avery is a hardened murderer who should have been executed a long time ago for his own soul’s sake, while he could still repent and feel. Plus it would have spared Teresa Halbach’s life and Dassey’s trauma. Such is the evil ripple effect of false mercy, IMO.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/14/16 at 09:44 AM | #

Hi, Hopeful, another thing to come out about Dassey afterwards was his family alleging Avery had molested his nephew many times. They should have brought this up at trial and allowed his confession to stand. He clearly was under the influence of his uncle and this would I think have done much to mitigate his sentence.

But by recanting his confession he was indeed ill served by his lawyer, and the law came down hard on him for that. Whatever time he served was deserved.

Posted by Ergon on 08/14/16 at 12:06 PM | #

Hi Ergon,

The whole point of having a criminal justice system is to ensure wrongdoers are brought to justice. Brendan Dassey repeatedly admitted that he had raped Teresa Halbach. He even confessed to his mother in prison.

I disagree with Judge William E. Duffin’s opinion that Dassey’s confession was involuntary.

Judge Jerome L. Fox ruled that the investigator’s tactics were not improper or coercive:

“The interviewers’ appeals to honesty were nothing more than a reminder to Dassey that he had a moral duty to tell the truth (46:9). In the context of this interview, the Court finds that this tactic of misleading Dassey by occasionally pretending to know more than they did was neither improper nor coercive because it did not interfere with Dassey’s power to make rational choices (46:9-10).”

He concluded that Dassey’s statements were voluntary:

“...the statements made by Brendan Dassey to Investigators Wiegert and Fassbender, and which are the subject of this motion, were the product of Brendan Dassey’s free and unconstrained will reflecting deliberateness of choice. In short, they were voluntary statements(46:11).”

This is clearly a moot point and I hope the State appeals against this ruling or initiates proceedings to retry Dassey.

The public’s mania for documentaries about people who have been convicted of murders they allegedly didn’t commit will lead to more sex offenders and killers being released from prison.

Posted by The Machine on 08/14/16 at 12:54 PM | #

A genuine question for you, The Machine.

Did you watch the Netflix programme in its entirety? I do appreciate that it left a great deal out and was very much slanted in favour of Avery and Dassey but the footage where we saw Dassey was compelling in showing that a railroad operation was in operation. It was quite shocking, especially given Dassey’s mental limitations.

Words when they are written down can be misleading. You really need to see a person speaking them to get an idea of context and meaning. Even the words “I love you” could be said in a sinister and threatening way. Context is everything.

Posted by davidmulhern on 08/14/16 at 03:57 PM | #

Minors can be questioned by police without a parent present.


A recent Supreme court decision on matter- regarding Miranda warning for children:


Posted by azoza on 08/15/16 at 12:38 AM | #

Hi David,

No, I haven’t watched Making of a Murderer in its entirety. I stopped watching it when I realised how one-sided and biased it is. It’s just another case of innocence fraud. I will always rely on the official court documents and witness statements instead of these types of documentaries. 

Lawyer Michael Griesbach has written an excellent article explaining why Making a Murderer is such a biased and dishonest documentary:

The widely acclaimed “Making a Murderer” series offered unyielding sympathy for its protagonist and considerable contempt for the police and prosecutors who returned him to prison. And it has added another layer to an already tragedy-laden crime story that has bedeviled my adopted hometown of Manitowoc for 30 years. By its skillful use of film and sound techniques and omission of facts that belie its conclusion, the series all but convicts local police of planting evidence to frame Avery a second time, a narrative widely accepted by nearly everyone whose only familiarity with the Avery case is the documentary itself.

Clinging to claims of objectivity, filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos correctly point out that truth is elusive in the Avery case. But by excluding facts that don’t fit their agenda and manipulating others, they have distorted the truth beyond all recognition and have decided for the rest of us what to believe. “High-brow vigilante justice” is how Kathryn Schulz put it in her column in the New Yorker.

Transformed into would-be jurors unknowingly manipulated by an all-knowing judge in the form of the series’ creators, viewers are shown only one side of the case with nary a chance of reaching a just and true verdict. The prosecution’s refutation of evidence-planting claims during cross examination and rebuttal is frequently omitted, and Avery’s criminal history is deconstructed beyond credulity.


Posted by The Machine on 08/15/16 at 06:05 AM | #


I appreciate your candour and understand where you’re coming from.

I’d say we’re at an impasse in this particular discussion but I think somebody said in a comment on this site some months ago that they thought that the prosecutors had been certain they had the guilty men (particularly Avery) but they decided to try and ensure conviction by over egging the pudding as it were.bim paraphrasing but that was the gist of what was said.

The methods employed against young Dassey in particular were very poor to say the least. They truly do have to be seen to be believed. They are not staged or reconstructed either; it’s actual court and interview footage.

Anyway, lest we forget, the common purpose we all have on here is to see a certain Amanda Knox receive true justice at some point. On that we can all agree!

Posted by davidmulhern on 08/15/16 at 01:33 PM | #

It should be pointed out that Brendan Dassey’s habeas corpus petition was issued a year before the documentary came out so it is unlikely it influenced the judge


And his lawyer had tried to have the March 2006 confession kept out of trial court but that was overruled then.

Posted by Ergon on 08/15/16 at 09:13 PM | #

Hi Ergon,

Even though Brendan Dassey’s habeas corpus petition was issued a year before the documentary came out, that doesn’t mean Judge William E. Duffin wasn’t influenced by Making of a Murderer and the media’s coverage of the case. Sub judice rules in England prevent the media from commenting on a case until a verdict is reached in order to prevent the jury from being swayed. Judges and lawyers are also susceptible to PR campaigns and influence techniques.

Judge Michael Heavey fell hook, line and sinker for the FOA lies and became an ardent true believer.

Judge Masipa allowed her emotions to cloud her judgement to such an extent that she was unable to correctly the apply the rule of dolus eventualis and acquitted Oscar Pistorius of murder. You don’t need any legal qualifications or training to understand that Pistorius didn’t fire four bullets into the toilet by mistake and that he intended to kill whoever was in the toilet.

Posted by The Machine on 08/16/16 at 05:11 AM | #

Hi, The Machine, judge Duffin may have been influenced by publicity surrounding the case, but still has to provide justification in writing to avoid being overturned. Here’s a good summary, and link to the actual judgement


“3.VOLUNTARINESS OF DASSEY’S CONFESSION: The ruling highlights issues of susceptibility to suggestibility, including Dassey’s age, intellectual capacity and the absence of a supporting adult. It also lists scores of occasions where the interrogators implied leniency in exchange for a confession (pp76-83), and cites evidence that Dassey, given the assurances of the interrogators, had no understanding of the consequences of a confession. “As long a s Dassey told a version the investigators accepted as “the truth” he was led to believe he had no fear of negative consequences. But if the investigators did not accept as true the story Dassey gave them, he was told there would be repercussions” (p87). The Federal Court concluded: “The State Courts’ finding that there were no “promises of leniency” was against the clear and convincing weight of the evidence” (p83), adding, “the court of appeal’s decision was not merely incorrect, it was unreasonable” (p84), and “That Dassey’s statement was involuntary… is not one about which fair-minded jurors could disagree… [it] was so clearly involuntary in a constitutional sense that the Court of Appeals’ decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established Federal Law” (p87).

There is however, a caveat: “That said, the court does not ascribe any ill-motive to investigators. Rather than an intentional and concerted effort to trick Dassey into confessing, what occurred here may have been the product of investigators failing to appreciate that combining statements that “they already knew everything that happened” with assurances that Dassey was “OK” and would have nothing to worry about, collectively resulted in constitutionally impermissible promises.”

So, while the technicality that the confession was involuntarily renders it inadmissible, thus overturning the conviction, there is no official, legal affirmation that it was in fact false. Voluntary or not, as long as the veracity of Dassey’s confession remains moot, he will be saddled with accusations, whether or not he happens to be free. Perhaps the Federal Court did as much as it could, constitutionally, but if the case is not refiled by the DA (and without the confession evidence, how could they?), this result will fall short of a complete exoneration. Certain individuals, not to mention the justice system itself, will largely remain unaffected, and not much will change. i guess.”

Posted by Ergon on 08/16/16 at 03:41 PM | #

I agree with The Machine. But I guess actual perpetrators must be allowed to play the victim and get away with murder, literally and figuratively, in order for the corrupt innocence industry to feed the greed of its power, apparently entrenched. The police and prosecutors stand between us and these monsters.  I say let them do their jobs.

Posted by JohnQ on 08/17/16 at 01:47 AM | #

Hi Ergon,

Brendan Dassey confessed to his mother in an intercepted prison conversation:

Dassey: Yeah, but you might feel bad with… if I say it today.
Janda: Huh?
Dassey: About what all happened.
Janda: Huh?
Dassey: About what all happened.
Janda: What all happened? What are you talking about?
Dassey: About what me and Steven did that day.
Janda: So Steven did do it?
Dassey: Yeah.
Janda: Oh, he makes me so sick.
Dassey: I don’t even know how I’m gonna do it in court, though.
Janda: What do you mean?
Dassey: I ain’t gonna face him.
Janda: Face who?
Dassey: Steven.
Janda: You know what, Brendan?
Dassey: What?
Janda: He did it. You do what you gotta do. So in those statements, you did all that to her too?
Dassey: Some of it.
Janda: But what about when I got home at five, you were here.
Dassey: Yeah.
Janda: Yeah. When did you go over there?
Dassey: Well, I went over earlier and then came home before you did.
Janda: Why didn’t you say something to me then?
Dassey: I don’t know, I was too scared.

Posted by The Machine on 08/18/16 at 11:41 AM | #

Alibi witness lied.


Posted by JohnQ on 08/22/16 at 07:37 PM | #

Terrible terrible earthquake has hit Italy. Destruction and devastation on a big scale. The Red Cross is there, and others are helping dig wounded out of the rubble. Pray for Italy. Perugia was near the epicenter but I think it did not feel much damage compared to many other towns. Even Rome felt the tremors. Rome and Perugia airports are both operational. Go to Daily Mail today’s online edition for photos and info.

Posted by Hopeful on 08/24/16 at 01:39 PM | #

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