‘Trial By Media‘ is a true-crime docu-series that presents high profile cases that have been influenced by how they were depicted in media. This then created a mass notion of guilt or innocence that influenced the very verdict of the trial itself. The series presents a couple of such cases, that really serve as food for thought.
While some of the cases in certain episodes boggle our minds, it nonetheless serves as an important reminder of perceiver bias, and the widespread influence media has had in the making or breaking of such trails. If you have watched ‘Trial By Media’ and are now charged to explore similar documentary series, we have curated just the list for you. You can watch several of these shows on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
6. Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer (2019)
‘Don’t F**k With Cats‘ is a documentary series that follows Luke Magnotta, a Canadian murderer who showcased highlights of his crimes on the internet. This documentary series is certainly the kind to give you goosebumps not only because of the nature of the crimes but also due to the ‘all-pervasive’ nature of an internet killer, who disguises himself to travel around just to kill.
A bunch of internet enthusiasts stalk Magnotta and get their own dose of nightmares; however, this does not stop them till he is brought to justice. The documentary showcases the manner in which crimes on the internet is brought to justice by amateur internet crime investigators. It is a must-watch for the dark course it takes that leaves one baffled till the very end.
5. The Innocent Man (2018)
This documentary series directed by J. Clay Tweel is almost like a crossover of a John Grisham novel and true crime. That is because it is exactly that. Two gruesome murders that took place in Oakland in the 1980s took its residents by shock. The news coverage of the case was so huge that John Grisham ended up writing a novel about it.
However, the real issue begins when the convicted felons in the case may not exactly be the perpetrators investigators were looking for. It is aimed to question the workings of the justice system on several fronts. The documentary series, thus, gives one several insight through its exploration.
4. Exhibit A (2019)
Coming from the same director of ‘The Confession Tapes,’ Kelly Loudenberg, ‘Exhibit A‘ looks at how certain individuals have been convicted through forensic methods that may not hold the most accurate results. The range of forensic techniques like blood splatter analysis, touch DNA, cadaver dogs are all rounded up for suspicion. It brings several cases where such forensic methods may have further derailed the crime than help bring it to a close. The documentary series is definitely worth the watch as it attempts to defy what it calls ‘dubious science.’
3. Making a Murderer (2015)
Directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, this documentary series digs hard into the case of Steven Avery and then later, his nephew, Brendan Dassey. Once exonerated for a rape, Avery is once again after years convicted for the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach. The series also takes a good look at the surmounting evidence that both refutes and affirms the fact that he might have had anything to do with the crimes he is accused of. As a high profile post-conviction lawyer takes over his case, one cannot help but lean in to see where this may all end. The documentary doesn’t disappoint and gives one ample food for thought.
2. The Confession Tapes (2017)
‘The Confession Tapes,’ directed by Kelly Loudenberg, brings together perhaps one of the biggest problems in the judicial system of the country, and that is retracted confessions. This can then spin a case into various directions, throwing what is the truth or not out into the mix. The documentary series that now spans two seasons is an interesting and intriguing series that explores the reasons and after-effects of such cases. It takes a long look at both the investigative system and the psychosocial reasons of why such confessions even happen. The series is bound to create an unsettling feeling that makes you ask several questions well from the start.
1. The Innocence Files (2020)
‘The Innocence Files‘ is the top pick of this list and, of course, for a reason. The documentary series not only explores wrongful convictions but also maps it out, keeping in mind the tiniest of details like even arranging them in the sequence of bias, wrong forensic techniques, and even ill-intended prosecution.
The series is not an easy watch as it requires a lot of effort on the audience’s part to stay connected, but the insight garnered at the end makes it worth your time. As one is done watching this documentary series, it does not just point out errors, but the flaw in the judicial system by design.
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