Who is Steven Avery? If you’re a fan of crime shows you probably already know. If not, Avery is an outsider of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Why an outsider? He and his family stuck to the fringes of society by choice, and as the world knows…people take an issue with those who are different. In Avery’s case, it completely ruined his early life and may very well be the reason he’s in prison to this day.
Steven Avery is a convicted killer
Avery was convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder back in 1985 when he was 23 years old. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crimes. After completing 18 years of his sentence, he was exonerated thanks to DNA testing proving his innocence. The year he was released he filed a $36 million lawsuit against all those involved in his imprisonment. Just two years later, while his suit was still pending, he was picked up for murdering Teresa Halbach, a photographer. In 2007 he was convicted for the murder and given a life sentence without parole.
Given the muddy details of his former arrest and his current sentence, there’s a lot of talk about whether or not Avery is actually guilty this time around. This confusion helped breed one of Netflix’s hottest crime docuseries, Making a Murderer.
What impact did ‘Making a Murderer’ have?
First and foremost, Making a Murderer has shined an extremely bright light on Avery’s case. At some point, his name was only whispered among legal counsel and those from Manitowoc County. Now his name is everywhere. Eyes are on Avery, and they are on everything that happens involving his case. If there’s any wrongdoing on the justice system’s part, it’s going to be a huge deal. With people weighing in, the judicial system is now pressured to do their jobs to the utmost of their ability.
Outside of the obvious publicity, the show has come with some interesting side effects. It brought attention to innocent projects, interrogation of juveniles and the potential for false confessions, highlighted the ongoing exonerations in the U.S., sparked a national debate on legal representation for the poor, and pushed some states to set laws that prevent underage suspects from talking without a legal guardian or attorney present. Those are some significant shifts all thanks to the publicity of the case.
How did ‘Making a Murderer’ impact Avery’s case?
One issue is there was evidence left out of the first part of the series. Evidence that made Avery look guiltier than not. In light of the omission, the convicted killer gained a lot of support. People who would root for his retrial. The docuseries also introduced viewers to Avery’s girlfriend, Jodi Stachowski, a devoted woman who maintained her lover’s innocence. Anyone familiar with killers knows that they can maintain a romantic relationship while doing the deed, but it didn’t hurt to have someone speak good of his character. Unfortunately, Stachowski later took back much if not all of the positive things she said about him.
What are the most recent developments in Steven Avery’s case?
There have been a few developments post the release of the second part of Making a Murderer which show Avery is just beginning his fight for freedom. There’s been discussion about him taking a plea deal, which is representative says is a no-go. Kathleen Zellner has also revealed some very pertinent information. Apparently, someone has told Zellner that Avery is definitely innocent.
What else has surfaced? Halbach’s RAV4 was checked for fingerprints. Avery’s aren’t present. Bobby Dassey wasn’t where he claimed to be during the murder. An expert of DNA analysis even offered his assistance to review the bones found at the Manitowoc County Gravel Pit.
What’s Steven Avery’s current status?
There are constant shifts happening in Avery’s case and there’s no telling where things will end up. For now, Avery is still serving his life sentence. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Avery is up for another day in court where new evidence will be presented. Will he be found innocent? Only time will tell.