In the wake of Making A Murderer's popularity, the subject of the Netflix documentary, Steven Avery, has filed a new appeal for his case to be reconsidered by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Fans of the docu-drama and supporters who think Avery is innocent (or at least deserves a new trial) have been circulating petitions for his pardon and a new trial since the documentary's release late last month. According to an AP report, Avery is asking to be released on bond in the interim period.
Today Avery's new defense counselors, Chicago lawyer Kathleen Zellner and Tricia Bushnell, legal director of the Midwest Innocence Project, filed an appeal today claiming that Avery was "deprived of an impartial jury." They also questioned a search warrant, which they claim may not have been valid.
According to the appeal, a juror referred to as C.W. made repeated claims to other jurors that Avery was "f---ing guilty," and told fellow jurors that if they "couldn't handle it they should just tell [the court] and leave."
A representative for Zellner's firm told a local Fox affiliate that:
We are continuing to examine every aspect of Mr. Avery’s case and all of his legal options. We are confident Mr. Avery’s conviction will be vacated when we present the new evidence and results of our work to the appropriate court.
Visit w/Steven Avery at Waupon CC. He is identical to the other 17 innocent men we've cleared. Won't quit until he's out. #MakingAMurderer— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) January 12, 2016
On Tuesday, Zellner tweeted about meeting with client Avery, saying that the Making a Murderer subject was "identical" to several other clients whose names they had cleared, and insisting that the two defenders wouldn't rest until Avery's case had been handled.
Avery supporters have been taking to social media to say they're pleased with his new counsel:
Steven Avery just locked up maybe the best legal representation possible - Zellner is an absolutely machine.— Jon Arens (@jonarens) January 12, 2016
Feeling ecstatic that Kathleen Zellner, defense attorney with 18 post-conviction exonerations, is taking on Steven Avery's case! @ZellnerLaw— Sara Forte (@SaraJeanQueen) January 10, 2016
The public's first introduction to the juror mentioned in Avery's recent appeal came when the documentary filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos told the Today Show that another juror had accused their fellow jury members of being biased, and that they had felt real fear in the jury room during deliberations.
The court will officially hear Avery's appeal on Feb. 16. It's been a long time coming for Avery, whose past motions have been expeditiously turned down. And while supporters were busy circulating petitions for a presidential pardon, the White House made a statement last week saying that they didn't have the power to overturn state convictions.
With a new defense team, and a newly drafted appeal about the impartial jury, Avery may just have another chance to fight for his innocence. Who says that television can't affect real life?
Image: Making a Murderer/Netflix