On Friday, Aug. 12, Brendan Dassey's case saw a huge development: The subject of Netflix's hit docuseries, Making a Murderer had his conviction overturned by a federal judge in Milwaukee. The ruling noted that Dassey would be released within 90 days, unless prosecutors decide to try him again. With such a big break in his case and his sentencing, some are wondering, will Steven Avery's conviction now be overturned, too?
Avery's lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, hopes just as much and has been working to have him exonerated, or to get him a new trial. According to the New York Times, Zellner, who took over Avery's case in January reportedly has a new person of interest who she believes could have killed photographer Teresa Halbach. In a letter that Avery wrote earlier this summer, he alleged that there is evidence that could lead to his exoneration that his new attorney, Zellner, will shed light on in an appeal. As for his previous lawyers? Avery suggested their defense is part of the reason why he is still in jail.
As Dassey's case has shed light on the holes in the state's case and the flaws of the criminal justice system, the recent developments could further the case for Avery's exoneration as well. And Zellner is making sure that his case is strong this time around.
According to the New York Times report, Zellner plans to order new tests on the DNA evidence that was first collected. She told the Times, "There is evidence that already exists in the case that points to a different location and a different suspect. We're got a combination of forensic evidence and a tip from somebody that we've interviewed multiple times that we think is credible." It seems there is definitely reason to believe that Avery's case will take a significant turn. And her time frame? We could know more information within just 60 days, she told the New York Times.
In a statement released following the judge's decision in Dassey's case, Making a Murderer directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos said, "This recent news shows the criminal justice system at work. As we have done for the past 10 years, we will continue to document the story as it unfolds, and follow it wherever it may lead." According to Rolling Stone, a source suggested they had started filming again last week.
Rolling Stone also reported that it's possible that Zellner's latest revelations could create significant reasonable doubt in both of the State's cases, which often relied on inconsistent narratives. On that, Avery's former lawyer Dean Strang told Rolling Stone, "If a prosecution presents inconsistent and irreconcilable theories to two different juries on the same crime, it's indisputable that at least one of those trials is not a search for the truth. If one narrative is true, the other one can't be true and if you're presenting both of them, at least in one of those trials, you're not on a search for the truth."
Zellner seems confident in her ability to exonerate Avery. She told the New York Times, "I've never seen a more graphic, compelling illustration of a crime scene that was fabricated."
Image: Making a Murderer/Netflix (1)