WARNING This article contains SPOILERS of the Netflix show, Making a Murder. You’ve been warned.
The hugely popular Netflix documentary Making a Murderer has cast a cloud of reasonable doubt on the conviction of Steven Avery and made armchair detectives out of millions of Americans.
Two petitions calling for Avery’s release, circulated online, have garnered almost a half-million signatures, there have been claims of tainted and missing evidence and now a juror has spoken out claiming he was coerced.
Is there any possibility this will result in Avery’s release?
After watching the documentary, some 343,000 people have signed a change.org petition calling for the release of Avery and Brendan Dassey.
“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.”
A similar petition on the White House site We the People has garnered almost 130,000 signatures.
“Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey should be given a full pardon by President Obama for their wrongful conviction in the connection to the murder of Teresa Halbach. Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series ‘Making a Murderer,’ the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives.”
Unfortunately, Gov. Scott Walker told CNN he wouldn’t grant Steven a pardon saying the courts already have a system in place.
“Just because a documentary on TV says something doesn’t mean that’s actually what the evidence shows.”
President Obama is barred from interfering with Steven’s sentence because his case wasn’t a federal one.
Avery spent 18 years in jail for the brutal attack of a woman before being released in 2003 after DNA evidence proved he had nothing to do with the crime. Two years later, after he filed a $36 million civil suit against Manitowoc County, Steven was found guilty of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach.
Steven maintains his innocence saying he was framed by law enforcement.
Now, filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are saying they’ve been approached by a jury member who says he voted to convict Avery because they feared for their own safety. They said if the juror held out for a mistrial it would have been easy to identify the responsible jury member, which would have placed them in danger.
Amid accusations of juror vote trading, new information has come to light that at least two members of the jury were related to members of the sheriff’s office, according to The Free Thought Project.
Unfortunately, jury members show regret quite frequently and Wisconsin law makes it almost impossible to appeal a verdict based on a juror’s deliberations.
Manitowoc County has been overwhelmed with records request from the media and individuals.
Attorney Dean Strang told The Daily Beast thathe could represent Avery again if new evidence is found.
“This is a case where I think substantial, real, and reasonable doubts remain about whether an innocent man got convicted.”
Critics of Making a Murderer argue the show is biased toward Avery and leaves out important evidence that would prove his guilt.
During the trial defense, attorneys were prohibited from discussing other possible suspects including Steven’s brothers, Charles and Earl Avery, and his brother-in-law, Scott Tadych.
[Photo Credit: AP Photo/Morry Gash]