If you're trying to find out how to help Steven Avery, you're not alone. Since the Netflix docuseries premiered in December, support for the convicted killer has blanketed social media — everyone from Jack Antonoff to Mindy Kaling has expressed outrage and heartbreak over the documentary's examination of Avery's trial and conviction for the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach.
Sadly, there is somewhat limited efficacy for Avery's supporters. The White House petition to pardon Avery failed because Avery was convicted of a state crime, rather than a federal one, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has already staunchly opposed a pardon.
But if you're an Avery supporter, don't give up yet. Now that Avery has filed an appeal to get his conviction overturned, there’s renewed hope for those who believe Avery is innocent. It’s possible he could get his conviction completely thrown out and be a free man, but given how hard the prosecution has adamantly stood by their case against Avery and spoken on his guilt, it’s more likely that if his appeal actually goes through, he will be retried. For that reason, there are a few ways you can help Avery get a new trial and support his legal proceedings.
One of Avery's new lawyers, Tricia Bushnell, works for the Midwest Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization working to reform the criminal justice system and free convicts believed innocent. Donating to the organization will help keep his lawyers dedicated to his case and work to fix the more systemic problems within the criminal justice system as Making A Murderer intended to highlight. If you are in the Kansas City, Missouri area, you can also volunteer — download the application here.
2. Send Your Support
The blog Jon's Jail Journal claims to have the Avery family's home address, as well as Steven Avery's and nephew Brendan Dassey's mailing address in jail. However, they recommend sending most mail to the Avery's home address, so that the prison system doesn't retaliate against the men. Writing letters and communicating your encouragement directly to the family could help keep their spirits up while Avery fights for a new trial.
3. Investigate The Evidence
Viewers recently put forth a theory that a photo of Teresa Halbach shows that the single key discovered in Avery's home may not have been her main set, proving that Internet detectives can play a role in helping tackle the case. Jerry Buting, Avery's former defense attorney told Rolling Stone, in an interview that he welcomed viewer input, saying, "We were only two minds. What I'm discovering is that a million minds are better than two," So get cracking. You never know if you might find something that could change everything.
4. Spread The Word
Many viewers finished Making A Murderer outraged and quickly took to social media to call for Avery and Dassey's freedom and an overhaul of the criminal justice system. If Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has taught the country anything, it's that spreading the word through social media, talking with friends, and community organizing can accomplish a lot. The more people who want Avery freed, who believe there's a wrong that needs to be righted, the more pressure there is to address what many believe is a broken and potentially corrupt legal system.
Steven Avery's legal battles are entering a new post-MaM era, and you can make a difference if you believe in his innocence.