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"Making a Murderer" filmmakers address criticisms of docuseries ahead of new season

Filmmakers on "Making a Murderer: Part 2"
Filmmakers on "Making a Murderer: Part 2" 07:42

The Emmy Award-winning documentary series, "Making A Murderer," brought international attention to the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach and the convictions of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. The 10-episode series paints a picture of what some say was severe misconduct by investigators and raises questions about the fairness of the convictions. Avery was previously exonerated by DNA evidence for a rape he didn't commit after 18 years in prison. 

Part two of the docuseries, which premieres on Netflix this Friday, picks up with Avery and Dassey's post-conviction legal fight and viewers are introduced to Avery's new high-profile attorney, Kathleen Zellner.

Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are the filmmakers behind the series Forbes called "Netflix's most significant show ever." The two told "CBS This Morning" they didn't originally plan to do a part two but wanted to shed light on the post-conviction phase of the process. Avery and Dassey are serving life in prison – Avery without the possibility of parole – and both continue to maintain their innocence.

Halbach's car with Avery's blood in it was discovered in his family's salvage yard and her cremated remains were found steps from his trailer. Avery's defense argued some investigators who helped wrongfully convict him for rape planted evidence and forced Avery's learning-disabled nephew Brendan Dassey into a false confession.

"When we leave off at the end of the part one, Steven himself is saying he's going to keep fighting. Brendan's team has actually just taken his case into the federal court system and then soon after the launch of part one, Steven got a new advocate, Kathleen Zellner. … She is the winningest private post-conviction attorney in the United States. And so right there it was clear, you know, the story really is not over," Demos said.

Part one, though highly popular, was not without controversy. Former district attorney Ken Kratz, who tried the case against Avery and Dassey, told "CBS This Morning" the series ignores incriminating evidence presented in the trial.

"It does very little to help the search for the truth. That is a function that is uniquely given to jurors, and the jurors did that when they returned their verdicts," Kratz said.

According to Ricciardi, Kratz refused to sit down with them for the documentary.

"Frankly, we gave the prosecutor whatever air time was available to us. ... I had written to Ken Kratz in 2006 inviting him to participate. Never received a direct response to my letter. But, you know, we were fortunate in that so many events were playing out publicly so we could film those and make it clear what Ken Kratz' perspective was on the story," Ricciardi said.

Another criticism of the docuseries was how little it focused on the victim, Teresa Halbach. Ricciardi says they did make an effort to include her family but they declined.  

"So we understand that they declined. We respect that and we, in light of that, I mean, regardless of whether they participated or not, our job was to tell the story in the most responsible way that we could. So we sought to include a range of voices. ... We used archival materials to show the distress people were in when they thought that Teresa was in jeopardy," Ricciardi said.

Ultimately, for Demos and Ricciardi, the story is about Steven Avery and his "incredibly unique status."

"As someone who had been failed by the system in the mid-80s and now was stepping back into it. And in that 20-year time span there had been advances in DNA, there had been legislative reforms, and there was a lot of talk about wrongful convictions. ... So it was sort of an opportunity to hold a mirror up and to watch the investigation and the prosecution play out. And the question at hand was, how will he be treated as an accused?" Demos said. 

Making A Murderer: Part 2 | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix by Netflix on YouTube
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