'Making a Murderer': Directors Say They Don't Believe Steven Avery Is Guilty

Making a Murderer Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Netflix

Making a Murderer Still - H 2015

"My personal opinion is that the state did not meet its burden."

The two directors of the wildly popular Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer told Steven Colbert Tuesday night they did not believe the main subject of their film is guilty. 

Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos appeared on The Late Show to talk about their 10-year long film project, which premiered last month and became an instant hit. 

“What we hope to achieve by sharing this story with as many people as we can is to engage Americans and get people to feel responsibility and understand their own agency here," Ricciardi said.

Avery served 18 years in prison for a sexual assault conviction out of Manitowoc County, Wis., for which he was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003. Then in 2005, Avery was convicted of the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. Avery's nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted for the same murder. Dassey's lawyers argued his confession to authorities was coerced.

After discussing the series overall, Colbert asked the pair if they believe Avery was guilty of Halbach's murder. 

"My personal opinion is that the state did not meet its burden," Ricciardi said. "I would say in my opinion: not guilty."

Demos agreed.

Colbert interjected that perhaps it was not a question of whether Avery committed the murder, but rather was it proven beyond a doubt in a court of law. 

"There are things he could be guilty [of doing]," Demos said. "Is he guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? Nothing I've seen, and I've seen a lot of stuff, nothing I've seen has convinced me of that."

Coincidentally on Tuesday, an appeal Avery filed with the Wisconsin court system asking his conviction be thrown out for numerous reasons, including a tainted jury, was processed into the system.  

Manitowoc County authorities have previously said Making a Murderer is skewed to make Avery appear innocent, however there is evidence of his guilt which was not addressed in the series.