Kathleen Zellner Doesn't Want Steven Avery To Get A New Trial — Her Goals Are Greater
Avid followers of Making A Murderer will soon be hearing extensively from the former lawyers of Steven Avery, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, who will be kicking off their "A Conversation on Justice" tour on Friday with a stand-alone event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In what could be viewed as a precursor to the MaM lawyer tour, those tracking Avery's status got to hear from his current legal representation on the very same topic. And it appears that Avery's new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, has a very particular idea about what justice looks like when it comes to Avery. Kathleen Zellner wants Steven Avery to be exonerated, and her team says they're confident it won't take very long.
Zellner's plan was laid out in an interview with Curtis Busse, the man who started the Steven Avery Project, an organization that works with the family to raise awareness about Avery's situation. In the conversation, Busse told radio station WIBX that Avery's current legal team is pretty optimistic about seeing the convicted Wisconsin man released from prison:
We’re not even looking for a new trial, we’re actually looking for an exoneration. Zellner’s very confident, and Steven is also very confident that it’s not gonna take that much time. And we’re talking months here.
Radio host Bill Keeler then asked Busse on what kind of grounds Avery's team would be able to bypass a trial and legitimately seek exoneration. Busse then provided a list of ways that Zellner has strengthened the case to such an extent that Avery's release appears a real possibility, saying:
Phone records, DNA, there’s alibis there that weren’t proven the first time that Zellner is taking to the next level and gone the extra mile to prove. They’re going to show that the blood [in the RAV4] and the age of the blood, it’s not going to match up between the two.
The statement by Busse, however, could be viewed as premature — like seriously premature. Even if Zellner's defense team has pulled together a boatload of new information, it's likely evidence that attempts to prove Avery's case was mishandled as opposed to evidence that proves Avery's innocence. (The Manitowoc County sheriff's department has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.) This would help get Avery back into a courtroom, not necessarily out of prison.
And it's not about the abundance of new evidence, but rather the quality of what Zellner has found. An exoneration could only be in reach if Zellner has gotten her hands on one thing: Some pretty undeniable proof that someone else committed the crime, or that Avery could not have been anywhere near Halbach during the time of her murder.