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‘Making a Murderer’ Filmmakers Say Juror Believes Steven Avery Was Framed
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Summary: An unnamed juror is reported to confirm convicted murderer Steven Avery’s innocence.

Has there been substantiation of the scenario presented about Steven Avery in Netflix’s documentary series, “Making a Murderer”? The “Today” show on Tuesday spoke with the the filmmakers, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, who said an unnamed juror contacted them claiming that Avery was framed in his 2005 murder trial.


Avery’s case has all the earmarks of made for television movie: He was convicted in 1985 of sexual assault and served 18 years in prison only for new DNA evidence to disprove his guilt. He had since sued Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, officials for $36 million, landing a few county officials deposed over how they handled the evidence in his case, only for him to be accused again, and finally convicted of charges of murder of Teresa Halbach, a 25-year-old photographer who had visited his auto yard to take pictures of a vehicle for Auto Trader magazine.

The popular documentary series presents the struggles of Avery, with a bent that perhaps justice was manipulated in securing a second conviction.

“We were contacted by one of the jurors who sat through Steven Avery’s trial [who] shared with us their thoughts [and] told us they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty,” Ricciardi said to the hosts of the “Today” show. “[The juror] believes that Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial. And if he receives a new trial, in their opinion, it should take place far away from Wisconsin.”

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In this regard, a petition seeking presidential pardon for Avery’s arrest has earned over 250,000 signatures. It reads “Steven Avery should be exonerated at once by pardon, and the Manitowoc County officials complicit in his two false imprisonments should be held accountable to the highest extent of the U.S. criminal and civil justice systems.”

Swayed, perhaps, by the success of Netflix’s 10-part series, a second petition also has asked for the release of Avery’s 16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, convicted of murdering the same woman, and also of sexually assaulting her. He is serving life with the possibility of release in 2048. His petition has gained 70,000 signatures.

The prosecutor, Ken Kratz, called the scenario “nonsense” on Monday, claiming the filmmakers left out crucial and condemning bits of evidence, such as the presence of DNA from Avery’s sweat found on a latch under the hood of Ms. Halbach’s Toyota RAV4.

“How do you get Avery’s sweat underneath a hood latch of a vehicle?” Mr. Kratz said. “That is completely inconsistent with any kind of planting.”

As if the trial were not already over, Mr. Strang, the defense lawyer, answered on Monday that the DNA found under the hood was never identified as sweat and did not prove that Mr. Avery touched the car.

Whatever the case, the unnamed juror claimed that he or she would act as a “source” to the defense if they won a retrial. According to this person, the jurors “feared for their personal safety,” and hence were willing to convict.


Photo courtesy of Netflix


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