02-18-2016, 08:04 PM #1
The Devil's in the Narratives: aka why Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey were convicted
Well, of course, we have all heard the old idiom, "The Devil's in the Details."
However, in the context of this, and most trial cases, the narrative plays a huge role with regard the jury, being the fact finders, final findings. While we can hash the guilty/not guilty, whodunnit, until the moon turns blue, I do think this case presents a window into why some defendants, whom we may think are as guilty as sin (aka Casey Anthony) go free, and some, whom we may believe are innocent, are convicted. In the end, the Devil is truly in the narrative. And that is why I've decided to start this thread... to discuss the various aspects of the narratives presented.
That said, I'll start with Kratz.
In an over-simplified nutshell, Mr. Kratz puts forward that Ms. Halbach was targeted by SA, and that he proceeded to abduct her, rape her, shoot her, and burn her remains. And then, he sets out to prove his narrative by providing various pieces of evidence.
In a similarly over-simplified nutshell, Buting & Strang put forward that Ms. Halbach was killed by someone else, and that her remains, the car, the blood in the car, the bullet fragment, and the key, were planted by Manitowoc SD officers, whose goal was to get SA locked up.
During the process of the trial, we find that there is really no forensic evidence to support that Ms. Halbach death occurred as Kratz described. That is, outside of the RAV4 key with SA's DNA and the bullet fragment with Ms. Halbach's DNA, there is really nothing even remotely concrete to indicate she was not only raped but killed in SA's home or garage. However, Kratz narrative was, unfortunately based upon the coerced confession of SA's nephew, BD. So, that isn't really surprising.
Now, Buting & Strang's narrative is equally tough to prove. After all, the RAV4 was found on the property, along with Ms. Halbach's remains and personal items, such as her cell phone. And, of course, the key and the bullet fragment with her DNA, regardless of whether or not you think it was planted. Moreover, they are not allowed to point a finger at someone else, nor are they allowed to speculate with regard to motive of said 3rd party.
So, you basically have two, somewhat paper-thin, narratives.
This, btw, is what juries base their final decision upon. Yes, evidence and facts are important. However, both the prosecution and defense present their narratives in their opening statements, and then set out to prove those narratives.
So, you basically have SA, the last known person to see Ms. Halbach alive, her car and remains found on his property vs the claim that LEOs found Ms. Halbach's remains somewhere else and proceeded to plant evidence to frame SA, due to the pending $36M lawsuit.
Wrt planting, etcetera, the more things that are alleged to be planted, the greater the conspiracy and the resulting coverup involving multiple people, must be. And, the more people involved in a conspiracy, the more likely things will start leaking.
The above reasons are why I think Kratz was able to secure a conviction for SA. BD is another story altogether. And, actually, I really still need to read his trial transcripts.
In any event, I figured I'd start this thread so people can chime in on their take of the narratives, why they think they worked, or why they should not have worked, for that matter.
02-18-2016, 08:29 PM #2
For BD ~ There is nothing about his case that I "understand". I don't understand how the confession was allowed, I don't understand how he was convicted. Well... wait, maybe I can. I don't think the jury heard or read the whole transcripts in order like many of our great posters here have, and I think you need to do that to be able to understand that picture in it's entirety.
SA ~ the biggest problem I have with the narrative around his arrest/trial/conviction is.... the Kratz narrative was played out in the media. It didn't play out in the courtroom because Kratz had ZERO evidence to back up that narrative, even the evidence that was presented, in the words of Zellner, is flawed, all of it! And I didn't see any viable motive for him to kill her presented in that trial, none. I didn't see a history of him losing his temper with strangers....or acquaintances, I didn't see that he stalked her, I didn't see any evidence for motive at all. And then after presenting his fake case in the media.... they get a jury and they are supposed to forget all they heard? I get that it happens with cases all the time, jury's do what they are supposed too.... I just feel that this is not one of those cases. (Buting in a recent interview reminded me of the article that came out over a month ago where a juror was contacted and quoted as saying they were ok with the verdict and he is where he is supposed to be because they raped and tortured TH.... hold up... that wasn't presented in the trial and if that was in the back of their mind while deliberating, that's wrong because there was no evidence of anything close to that happening)
At least Buting/Stang were able to provide some evidence that their narrative was possible.... tampered with blood vial box... the bones possibly being moved.... the contaminated bullet with TH's DNA.... the circumstances of the key (even Kratz seemed to concede and say whatever, throw the key out lol not in those words, but you know what I mean lol) and most of all..... they had motive, they had a 36 million dollar motive IMO
BTW... the title of your thread shadowraiths.... I was going to say.... Zellner, is that you? hahaha
A tweet this past week was:
Kathleen Zellner @ZellnerLaw Feb 15
Police reports: Others lie but cops turn a blind eye. "The killer (devil) is in the detail" #Eyeswideshut
02-18-2016, 10:03 PM #3Registered User
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02-26-2016, 06:39 PM #7Registered User
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While modern Western justice systems (not confined solely to the US) get a lot right IMO, it's a sad fact that it quite often comes down to which side spins the best story. By the time all the legal arguments are done and it's been decided which bits of evidence should be allowed and what should be left out, the jury ends up listening to two different storytellers each trying to sell a carefully crafted tale rather than an unbiased representation of the true facts.
And I really don't envy the jury in this case. IMHO neither the prosecution nor the defense presented a satisfactory narrative that fitted with the evidence and they were stuck with picking the most likely scenario from two equally bizarre tales.
SA > Yes, I've openly said that I believe he is the most likely candidate as TH's killer. The reasons have been analysed in plenty of other threads, so no need to re-hash them here.
Do I think that it happened in the way that the prosecution laid out? Not a chance! The whole narrative is built around an extremely shaky story spoon-fed to a mentally challenged kid which is barely corroborated by the known facts. Add to that plausible suspicions that there may have been some manipulation of evidence* then whatever my personal opinion, I'm not sure I could have found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of what was presented in court.
* I don't believe that the entire thing was fabricated to frame him, but I do think a few items may have been tampered with in order to strengthen LE's case.
And I'm afraid that I can't go along with the whole "ends justifies the means" argument. Yes, IMO SA is exactly where he deserves to be but that still doesn't make it right. If we were to go along with that logic, then we may as well say that he should have stayed in prison for the false rape conviction. <shrug> Yeah, we know he didn't do it, but hey the guy's a bit of a scumbag and if he didn't do this one it's only a matter of time before he does it for real or something worse.
BD > This is where I'm totally bewildered. I just cannot comprehend how he could have been convicted on the basis of the story that was put forward. Not only was the way it was extracted from him unethical but it really doesn't add up in light of the known evidence. The only thing that I feel is supported by sufficient facts is that he probably helped his uncle clean up a part of the garage that night. And even then, it's not clear exactly what was being cleaned up and/or if BD knew what he might have been helping with. I just don't 'get' anything about this at all.Sarah
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