A New Steven Avery Hearing Could Finally Look At The Testing His Lawyer's Been Talking About
There is some potential good news for fans of Netflix's Making a Murderer fans who felt the titular subject had been slighted. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin assistant attorney general, Thomas Fallon, requested that a hearing be scheduled for Steven Avery. Fallon's letter asked that the judge hold a status conference during the weeks of Oct. 24, Oct. 31, or Nov. 7. It might seem like a small step, but it could move forward the case that has long been in the minds of both fans of the show and those involved in the events.
The hearing will address the state's post-conviction scientific testing of evidence. Back in August, Avery's new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, filed an appeal for further testing of evidence. She argued that the current level of testing wan't available during Avery's 2007 trial. Zellner requested to date blood and DNA found at the scene of the crime. In her appeal, Zellner stated, "The most reassuring thing is that we are going to get to the bottom of who killed Teresa Halbach. And we firmly believe that we will establish it was not Steven Avery."
A major theory in the Netflix show centered around the idea that Avery had been set up in the 2005 murder of Halbach. Zellner is hoping to prove that the blood was in fact planted, a claim that the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office has long denied.
In 2007, Avery along with his nephew Brendan Dassey, was convicted of murdering Halbach. Dassey's conviction was overturned in August by a federal judge. The judge ruled that 16-year-old Dassey's confession had been coerced and was unconstitutional. It was a victory for those who watched the show and felt that young Dassey had been pushed around by interrogating officers, who for years said they had followed standard procedure during the confession.
As detailed in the series, the filmmakers presented Avery's 1985 false conviction in the rape of Penny Beerntsen in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. It wasn't until 18 years after the conviction that Avery was exonerated by DNA evidence. Knowing this backstory seems to make people a little more willing to believe that Avery has once again been falsely convicted of a crime, even rooting for him to get an appeal. Fans even presented a petition for Avery to receive a presidential pardon.
Netflix announced this summer that more episodes of Making a Murderer are in the works, detailing Avery and Dassey's post-conviction processes, and we'll have to wait to see what comes of the evidence testing Zellner wants to present. While it's tempting for viewers to hope that Avery is innocent and twice falsely convicted of crimes, the evidence is what matters to the law and the court.
Image: Netflix (1)