‘Making a Murderer’: Could Steven Avery Really Get Released From Prison?

Netflix found itself delving into the true-crime arena with their hit Making a Murderer over the last couple of years. As with many true-crime podcasts that are so (sometimes alarmingly) popular, this show focused on one particular murder case. For the last two seasons, it’s honed in on Steven Avery who brought the unusual case of being exonerated for one murder, then ended up behind bars again for another.

A lot of work went into the first season of the show, including filming for 10 years to make the narrative thorough. By the second season, it explored more about the aftermath of Avery’s re-conviction (including his nephew, Brendan Dassey). Based on the information during the second season, talk is brewing about Avery possibly winning another prison release.

How could Avery possibly be released from prison again?

The idea that one man could be wrongly convicted of a rape and murder twice is almost beyond comprehension. It’s what made the concept behind this show such a standout from the beginning. Plus, it helped to have various celebrities promoting it on social media for more buzz.

At the center of this series, though, is one big question. Is our justice system capable of making major mistakes and convicting someone wrongly twice?

Other facts about Steven Avery’s background have also come to light, particularly Avery’s ex-fiancee (Jodi Stachowski) saying he was wrongly convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Of course, some might look at this as another Carole Ann Boone situation with Ted Bundy.

The popularity of defense attorney Kathleen Zellner

In the surreal world we live in, true-crime tales often turn those involved into celebrities. We’ve made people like Steven Avery almost like a pop culture anti-hero and a pawn in exploring flaws in our justice system.

However, the biggest star out of Making a Murderer more recently is Avery’s defense attorney, Kathleen Zellner who isn’t afraid to make relevant evidence public. Prior to her, it was Dean Strang and Jerry Buting who’ve since been removed from the case.

Zellner has been a big part of the show’s second season and dug much deeper into the evidence to uncover a possible alternate suspect in the murder of Halbach.

We’ve never seen a defense attorney like Zellner. She proves having a woman involved in a murder case means more profound insight and evidential smarts.

Bringing in a DNA expert to challenge prior evidence

Steven Avery
Steven Avery | David Trotman-Wilkins/CHICAGO TRIBUNE

No doubt Zellner will become very much in demand for other convicted murderers based on her warrior attitude finding evidence to the ends of the earth. She’d be able to prove just how important forensic evidence is and how it applies to Avery’s timeline.

The most recent news is Zellner won a motion to appeal, so it’s possible Avery could eventually get a new trial. It would take a lot for him to be released from prison, but it’s a possibility more now than ever.

Would the public support freeing Avery?

One thing we’ve learned about notorious figures who’ve served prison time is they aren’t always welcomed back into normal society. O.J. Simpson is more or less staying away from the mainstream now and keeping to himself as a lifelong pariah.

Many polls have been conducted recently about whether the public thinks Avery was framed by the police or truly guilty. According to one recent straw poll, 71% thought he was framed.

We’ll have to wait and see what the evidence shows, but it’s clear the public is totally invested thanks to the Netflix series. Whether Avery would be able to live a normal life again is another question. Sometimes living a sane life means finding it behind bars rather than the real world.