**SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT KEEP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED WATCHING MAKING A MURDERER**
Since Making a Murderer premiered on Netflix at the end of last year, we have become a world obsessed with Steven Avery, the 18 years he spent in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and the murder trial that followed his release.
It’s been almost nine years since Steven Avery was put back behind bars, and Brendan Dassey was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse, and first-degree sexual assault. Dassey is now 26, while Avery is 53, having spent 27 of those years incarcerated.
The documentary was extensive – the cameras were rolling for 10 years, with filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos practically relocating to Manitowoc to keep up to date on the drama – but, while its final credits have rolled, the story as far from over.
So how has the case progressed?
Thousands of viewers signed a petition calling for Steven and Brendan’s release
Making a Murderer inspired a massive online campaign to see protagonist Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan released and/or pardoned by President Obama. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions on Change.org and the official White House website calling for Avery’s immediate exoneration.
Which prompted a reply…
… from The White House! They responded to the We the People petition, but it wasn’t good news for campaigners. The official statement from the US government reveals that President Obama “cannot pardon” the men, adding: “A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities.”
Anonymous got involved
A Twitter account believed to be connected to secretive hacking group Anonymous waded into the debate back in December, threatening to release phone records and evidence incriminating the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s department. They are yet to do so.
“A member of the Innocence Network is currently looking into some aspects of his case,” reads a statement on the body’s official website. “While we know from the 336 DNA exonerations that innocent people are wrongly convicted and serve long prison terms for crimes they didn’t commit, we don’t know how many innocent people are in prison seeking to clear their names. Fortunately, the filmmakers behind Making a Murderer are helping to shine a spotlight on some of the problems that plague the criminal justice system, like false confessions and government misconduct.”
Steven Avery found new lawyers
Since Making a Murderer made headlines, Avery has secured himself new legal representation. Attorney Kathleen Zellner and Tricia Bushnell, who is legal director for the Midwest Innocence Project, have taken on Steven Avery’s case. “The Zellner Law Firm is looking forward to adding Mr. Avery to its long list of wrongful conviction exonerations,” a release reads.
And filed new motions
His latest challenge to his 2007 murder conviction was two motions filed earlier this month alleging his property was searched illegally and that a juror intimidated other jurors into delivering a guilty verdict.
Brendan Dassey’s lawyers filed a new lawsuit
Dassey’s lawyers have submitted a petition for a writ of habeas corpus. This means they are trying to get the 26-year-old another day in court on the grounds that he was interrogated four times without his lawyer and potentially coerced into confessing.
Jodi thinks Steven’s guilty
“He’s not innocent,” said Avery’s former girlfriend Jodi Stachowski on HLN, calling him a “monster.” Stachowski, who appeared to be a supportive presence for Avery in Making a Murderer added: “I ate two boxes of rat poison just so I could go to the hospital and get away from him.”
Stephen Avery released a statement
Just this week, Avery sent a handwritten note to WISN 12 News reporter Colleen Henry, where he writes: “The real killer is still out there. Who is he stalking now? I am really innocent of this case and that is the truth!!! The truth will set me free!!!!!!!”
He also referenced his former girlfriend, saying: “How much money Jodi get to talk bad!”
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