The latest twists in the ‘Making a Murderer’ saga come not only from Avery attorney Kathleen Zellner, but also from retired sheriff ‘s department officer Andrew Colborn. Two announcements on the same day from different camps have been keeping followers of the series busy. While Kathleen Zellner announced that she had filed a motion for new scientific testing, Michael Griesbach issued a press release announcing his firm has filed a complaint on behalf of Andrew Colborn. It is the last three sentences of this press release that beg to be noticed.
Viewers of ‘Making a Murderer’ will recall the ill-advised press conference given by then Special Prosecutor Ken Kratz detailing the alleged scenario of the death of Teresa Halbach. He began his presser with a warning that the contents weren’t suitable for children. What followed was a sensationalized account of what the prosecution believed was the fate of Ms. Halbach. All this was based on the confession of Brendan Dassey, which many believe was, in fact, coerced. In viewing the available videos of his statements to police, it is clear that Brendan Dassey had no understanding of what he was confessing to.
That single press conference tried and convicted Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey in the court of public opinion long before they were ever convicted in a court of law. It almost assuredly tainted the prospective jury pool. For many, the mindset was that once the prosecution said it, it must be fact. It is a mindset that lingers to this day. The utilization of the court of public opinion was just fine with everyone. Until it wasn’t.
Now, the attorney representing Andrew Colborn has said that neither he nor his client offer any further public comment to avoid having the case decided in the court of public opinion. Pot, meet kettle. The press release might as well have stated that the court of public opinion should only apply to certain people. Not them, of course, but others whom they have decided were guilty. The press release itself is its own form of pandering to that very same court of public opinion. Otherwise, why issue a press release at all? If one wanted to avoid the court of public opinion, simply file the complaint, don’t advertise it, and refuse to comment on it if any inquiries come your way. It is possible that no inquiries would have come your way without the press release.
You can read the filing here. Let the court of public opinion now convene.