The Staircase Aftershow – Chapter 1: Crime or Accident

June 19, 2018

It is like deja vu all over again as The Docket Podcast returns to an episode-by-episode examination of a real life crime docu-series.  Only this time its all about The Staircase instead of Making A Murderer.

In December 2001, novelist Michael Peterson called 911 to report that his wife Kathleen had fallen down a narrow twisting set of stairs and died. The prosecution and police did not believe it was an accident and soon Peterson found himself charged with his wife murder. The trial that follows was one of the most bizarre, prejudicial, and high profile court cases of the century.

And now the 2004 French television miniseries by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade documenting the trial of Michael Peterson is available on Netflix – with 3 new bonus episodes.

Join us – criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt and former federal prosecutor and law professor Emilie Taman – as we dissect The Staircase chapter-by-chapter. Each podcast we will break down the legal strategy, evidentiary issues, and give our opinions on the case – with a Canadian twist.

In Chapter 1: Crime or Accident, we look at the role that wealth and privilege plays in Peterson’s defence, discuss police tunnel vision, and give our initial impressions on the investigation.

We are going to try to keep each podcast spoiler free about what follows but what quickly emerges is a story about how the presumption of innocence is constantly under attack by police and District Attorneys intent on securing a conviction at all costs.  Ultimately, The Staircase is about every accused person in the United States, Canada, or anywhere.  It’s about what it’s like to be confronted by the full resources of the State when your life hangs in the ballance.

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Emilie Taman on Twitter: @EmilieTaman

Michael Spratt on Twitter: @mspratt

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