'Making a Murderer' Juror Supports Suspicions That Steven Avery Was Framed

steven averyAnother huge development in the ongoing saga of Making a Murderer subject Steven Avery: Filmmakers say that a juror who served at Avery's trial has come forward and said that Steven Avery was framed -- and that he was only convicted (and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole) because jurors "feared for their personal safety." 

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Filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi revealed on the Today show this morning that a juror sought them out following the Netflix series' December 18 premiere and said that he or she believed Avery was wrongfully convicted of Teresa Halbach's 2005 murder, just as he was wrongfully convicted for sexual assault in 1985. But even more shocking is that this juror says he or she agrees with the theory (and defense attorneys' allegations) that Avery was indeed framed by local police officers. Said Ricciardi:

We were contacted by one of the jurors who sat through Steven Avery's trial and shared with us their thoughts and they told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty, they believe that Steven was framed by law enforcement. They believe he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion it should take place far away from Wisconsin.

This is a tremendously vindicating revelation for the thousands upon thousands of people convinced of Avery's innocence (as of today, the number of signatures on petitions calling for Avery's pardon skyrocketed to more than 200,000). But the question is, why would jurors find Avery guilty if they didn't really believe it? 

"What they told us was that they feared for their personal safety," said Demos. Ricciardi went on to explain that the guilty verdict was a "compromise" of sorts, and that the jurors "traded votes" to achieve a split verdict in the hopes of sending a message to the appellate courts that would result in a new trial for Avery.

More from The Stir: 'Making a Murderer' Inspires Fierce Fan Debate Over Its Subject's Innocence

Wow. If this is true, it answers one of the most perplexing questions raised during Making a Murderer. A juror who was dismissed from the case for a family emergency told the filmmakers that seven of the jurors believed Avery to be innocent going into deliberations. So what happened to change their minds? This new information suggests that those jurors were perhaps convinced to give some serious consideration to what the consequences would be for them personally if they accused local law enforcement of framing an innocent man for murder -- and that those potential consequences scared them. A lot.

One thing's for sure: If Steven Avery does receive a new trial, as so many believe he should (myself included), it most definitely should "take place far away from Wisconsin." 

 

Image via Netflix

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