People are buzzing over the new Netflix show called Making a Murderer, a 10-part documentary that follows the trial of Steven Avery over the death of Teresa Halbach. Everybody has their opinions about whether Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were rightly convicted, and a new interview with the series’ filmmakers will surely get people talking even more. What’s the scoop?
Filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi appeared on Tuesday’s Today show and shared some interesting tidbits. The Making a Murderer creators say that one of the jurors from Steven Avery’s trial has reached out to them and made some stunning revelations. This is a different juror than the one who was excused in the middle of deliberations who has been fairly visible since leaving the case.
Until now, the jurors who did convict Avery have stayed out of the limelight and have chosen not to talk about their deliberations. As viewers saw during Making a Murderer, the excused juror said that during initial deliberations, seven jurors wanted to vote not guilty, three wanted to vote guilty, and two were unsure. Everybody wondered just how a mix of votes like that eventually led to a guilty murder conviction.
Ricciardi and Demos say that the unnamed juror now says that they believe Avery was indeed framed, as Steven’s lawyers alleged and many viewers have come to believe. In addition, the juror allegedly says that they believe that Steven was not proven to be guilty and deserves a new trial, which should be held far away from Manitowoc County.
The juror is said to go even further, detailing deals made during deliberations between the jury members. As many have theorized, the juror says that during deliberations, vote-trading took place so that some would agree to vote guilty on one count in exchange for voting not guilty on another.
This juror reveals that the decision to vote guilty came under duress, as he or she was afraid that their safety could be compromised if they held out for a mistrial. During the talk with the filmmakers, this juror is also said to have indicated that they thought by finding Steven guilty on the murder count, but innocent of the others, it would send a mixed message that would lay the groundwork for an appeal, which it seems some of the jurors wanted to see happen.
While these juror statements definitely add an interesting context to the Making a Murderer buzz, Ricciardi and Demos caution that they have not yet been able to confirm the statements with any other jurors. At this point, no other jurors have reached out, though some wonder if that may happen now that one person has shared some insight. Apparently, however, the juror who has spoken to the filmmakers indicated that they would be willing to be a source should Avery get a new trial.
Though the filmmakers believe that they included all of the most incriminating evidence against Avery in Making a Murderer, former prosecutor Ken Kratz has voiced his displeasure with the series. Demos and Ricciardi say that they are still in touch with Avery, adding that the documentary is essentially still in production to bring forth more updates. In addition, Steve’s former lawyer Dean Strang has shared that he and Jerry Buting remain in touch with Avery as well and serve as pro bono resources for their former client.
Strang has indicated that at this point, Avery’s best real chance at gaining his freedom is for new evidence to come out, as so far all of his state appeals have been denied. Could revelations like this from a former juror spark an opportunity for Steven to get a new trial? As People notes, Avery is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, while his nephew Brendan Dassey is eligible for parole in 2048.
Not all Making a Murderer viewers are convinced that Steven Avery is innocent, but many question how the jury could have found him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Will these new tidbits from the filmmakers sway anybody regarding the case?
[Photo by AP Photo/The Post-Crescent, Dan Powers]