The internet is continuing to pull apart and reassemble the Steven Avery case from Netflix’s obscenely popular crime documentary, Making A Murderer. Just yesterday, Avery’s former trial lawyer Jerry Buting said that internet sleuths were already finding small bits of new material in the haystack of evidence created by the case. Now they’re bound to find more as a FundAnything campaign to release all court documents from the case has hit its first goal.
The fundraiser, promoted on the Making A Murderer subreddit, is currently sitting at just over $3,300. At $2,700, they promised “purchase copies of the transcripts from the 27-day trial and publish them online for free public access.” And they just came through on that, with each day available on StevenAveryCase.Org in searchable PDF files.
It’s a wealth of information, and the only thing missing is the ability to search all of the documents together — although I’m sure someone will combine all the documents and/or create a better searchable database. That’s the beauty of projects like this: once someone pays to bring the information public, anyone can take it and do what they will with it.
Here’s some of the stretch goals for the fundraiser (keeping in mind they’re already at $3,300 raised:
At $4,000: copies of all of the evidence exhibits and many other key documents from the case file.
At $9,000: copies of the transcripts from all the hearings that took place before and after the jury trial.
All funds above $9,000 will be donated directly to the Innocence Project, the organization that helped Steven Avery overturn his 1985 rape conviction. Pretty cool, but what about Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey? He seemed to get the screw even worse than Steven Avery, and while many still hold doubt that Avery is innocent, it seems clear that Dassey was just some poor kid the prosecution railroaded while trying to turn into a witness.
That’s kind of the problem, though: on its face, the Brendan Dassey court case should be granted an appeal — it’s not like there’s tiny hidden facts that may blow the case wide open. That situation stinks to high heaven as it is, which is probably why it gets way less attention than Steven Avery’s case. That sucks for Dassey, especially with no signs of an appeal in his future.