Kenneth Kratz was willing to answer all of my questions. Many these days are demanding answers from the former district attorney of Calumet County, Wis., who successfully prosecuted Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.

All those questions are a result of the Netflix true-crime miniseries Making a Murderer, which has caused a sensation by casting doubt on the guilt of Avery and Dassey, who are serving life sentences.

The pair were convicted of raping and killing Halbach, who was taking pictures of Avery's car for a magazine. Dassey, Avery's nephew, eventually confesses that he and his uncle raped, tortured, and killed Halbach, and then burned her body right outside the house.

Perhaps Kratz was forthcoming because I'd shared with him my usual skepticism of media investigations about convictions that impugn cops. I told him I'd coauthored Murdered by Mumia with the widow of the police officer murdered by Mumia Abu-Jamal. I could have added that last year, on these pages, I opined about Serial, the enormously successful podcast that cast doubt on the murder conviction of a Maryland man named Adnan Syed who was convicted of the murder of a former high school girlfriend. I said Serial was all about entertainment, not evidence.

But where Making a Murderer had raised legitimate questions, I wanted to hear Kratz address the most notable:

Did police plant blood obtained from an evidence test tube? ("Mr. Avery . . . had a cut on the outside of his middle finger on his right hand, actually a cut sustained while he was hiding the RAV4 with his nephew, Brendan.")

What about the fact that critical evidence was found by cops who had pursued a previous conviction against Avery, for which he was later exonerated by DNA evidence? ("I am disappointed, and I'm upset that those officers were as involved as they were," he said. "The documentary does not show the viewers the cabinet that the key was in. . . . As the officers moved the cabinet the key falls out from behind the back of the cabinet, where it is secured, and then falls to the ground. So it's not anything magical about it. It's gravity actually that causes the key to 'appear.' ")

And why there was no forensic evidence in the room where the victim's torture had allegedly taken place? ("Teresa Halbach was not killed in the trailer. She was killed in the garage.")

I also asked Kratz to name the one piece of evidence that the Netflix documentarians left on the cutting-room floor.

"Well, I think probably the DNA on the hood latch," he said. "I mean, because the DNA is non-blood DNA, because it is in a place - you know, you've got to pop the hood from the inside before you stick your hand under the hood, and it gets on the hood latch. There's no explanation for that."

Kratz kept me from believing in Avery and Dassey's innocence. The idea that local police would kill a 25-year-old woman and frame Avery just to spare themselves embarrassment and their county an enormous civil judgment from a lawsuit based on Avery's previous improper incarceration for a sexual assault he did not commit is ludicrous. And, absent their killing her, I think it similarly unlikely that they would have planted her chopped-up bones just to frame Avery. Why hide anything if the plan was to frame Avery?

But Kratz did not convince me that justice had been served.

Most troublesome is the treatment of Dassey, who comes across as having been manipulated in his interrogation by police and taken advantage of by his own lawyer and that lawyer's investigator. Kratz says the depiction of the interrogation is misleading.

"Well, you need to watch the whole 3.5 hours," he said. "And this isn't a tea party. This is a homicide investigation where this young man has implicated himself. And it's clear that this young man isn't being up-front with law enforcement officers."

Maybe "clear" to Kratz, but to this viewer of Making, there is nothing straightforward about Dassey other than his mental limitations. A recorded phone call between an incarcerated Dassey and his mother captures an exchange where they disagree as to whether he is "stupid." He's clearly deficient. Stunningly, soon after his arrest for murder, and facing life behind bars, he is recorded on a prison telephone asking his mother whether he will be home in time to watch WrestleMania.

In the midst of Episode 4, Barb Tadych, Dassey's mother, is heard to say: "Steven's got a good attorney. Brendan don't." She was correct in her reference to Len Kachinsky, who, upon being appointed, told the press that Dassey, his own client, was "morally and legally responsible" for the murder. By the time Kachinsky was dismissed by the judge, he had sealed Dassey's fate by allowing the learning-disabled 16-year-old to be questioned alone by his investigator, Michael O'Kelly.

During that questioning, O'Kelly rejected Dassey's claim of innocence and prodded him for a confession. O'Kelly creepily wrote in a memo about the Avery/Crassey family: "we need to end the gene pool." And he was supposed to be on Dassey's side! Viewers are left to conclude that Kachinsky and O'Kelly had decided to be judge, jury, and executioner, perhaps to get their client a more lenient sentence while helping the prosecution convict his uncle.

On that basis, Dassey deserves a new trial. And while Dassey's statement was not used against Avery at his trial, it's entirely possible that publicity over Dassey's "confession" nevertheless harmed Avery's right to a fair trial.

Look, they may both be guilty, and my hunch is they are, especially where no evidence pointing to anyone else has surfaced.

But that doesn't make it right.

Michael Smerconish can be heard from 9 a.m. to noon on Sirius XM's POTUS Channel 124 and seen hosting "Smerconish" at 9 a.m. Saturdays on CNN.