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News Round-Up Week Ending 8.1.16

(Posted on 09/01/16)


¼ Million Netflix Viewers Sign Petition:

Making a Murderer, Netflix’s first documentary series, which follows the Wisconsin trials of Steven Avery and his nephew, and was filmed over ten years, has inspired 275,000 viewers to sign a petition calling on President Obama to overturn the convictions.

Avery was convicted of the murder of 25-year-old photographer, Theresa Halbach in 2005, shortly after he was released from an 18-year sentence for a 1985 rape he did not commit.

The hit show follows HBO’s series The Jinx and the podcast Serial.

Writing in the Independent this week, Ian Burrell reported British legal experts’ concerns that a lack of access to case files and court transcripts hinders similar media projects on suspected UK miscarriages of justice.

“Lawyers and journalists have been asleep at the wheel and allowed the British system to become secret,” said Emily Bolton, of the Centre for Criminal Appeals. “These programmes put people in the shoes of the criminal defendant.” 

But Louise Shorter, former producer on BBC’s Rough Justice before setting up Inside Justice, said programmes could still be made and public interest in such stories never waned. She is currently involved in the making of The Station. According to a BBC press release, the programme will “interweave layers of unfolding narrative, telling the past tense story of [a] crime along with the present tense investigation”.

“It’s going to be reviewing a case not a million miles away from the programmes you are talking about,” hinted Ms Shorter.