In Missouri. It’s about time. In Missouri, there are only 376 public defenders to handle over 100,000 cases a year.
More from Balko.
So you’ve probably heard something about Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer. The series centers around Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man with a long criminal history who was convicted of a sexual assault he did not commit in 1985. After his exoneration, he sued Manitowoc County and the sheriff, alleging misconduct in the initial investigation and prosecution.
In the middle of this, a young photographer, Teresa Halbech, went missing. Avery was the last person she supposedly saw and police found her car and burned bone fragments on his property. He and his nephew were convicted of murdering her.
Avery insists on his innocence and claims he was railroaded again because of the lawsuit. The documentary goes through his case, from the previous charge, to the investigation, through the trial and the first round of appeals. It has caused an online sensation, with numerous blogs discussing the case and a White House petition for Avery and his nephew to be pardoned.
This review is going to be very spoilery. I’m going to discuss the case as if you’ve watched the documentary or read some of the coverage. So if you haven’t and plan to, you might want to bookmark this and come back in ten hours.
A lot going on today and I don’t have time to flood the zone with posts on everything. So here are a few rapid-fire thoughts:
It’s clear that today’s Empire State Building shooting was not a mass shooting but straight-up murder. The press were all geared up to cover it like a mass shooting, but the guy killed an executive and then got mowed down by cops on a crowded street. Much as I’d like to criticize the cops — all nine of the wounded were hit by their fire — my initial read is that they did the right thing. Grabbing murderers is their job. And when he turned on them with a weapon in hand, they had no choice but to fire.
Speaking of murderers, Anders Brevik is going to get 10-21 years in prison for murdering 77 people, most of them young and defenseless. This may sound like a liberal judge but it isn’t: Norway has neither the death penalty nor life sentences. 21 years is the maximum anyone can be sentenced to. The prosecutors can, however, petition against release for dangerous people and there is little doubt they will do so whenever this piece of shit is eligible to get out. Let’s hope the man never sees a free day.
Staying in the courts, Apple won its big lawsuit against Samsung, one of 19 lawsuits on four continents the two companies are currently fighting out. I have not kept up with this but read enough today to conclude that Samsung did copycat quite a bit, at least in their early iterations.
Finally, if you haven’t read it, please read Jim’s comment under the Lance Armstrong thread for a much better analysis of today’s events than I was able to bash out.
Update: One of Harley’s friends reminded me of this on Facebook: Chicago has some of the tougher gun control laws in the nation. On Thursday night/Friday morning, 19 people were shot in various unrelated incidents. Strange that this is getting a lot less coverage than what happened in New York.