The co-founder of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, Keith Findley, said Steven Avery could have his case re-opened if there was clear juror misconduct. This comes as the producers of “Making a Murderer” revealed a juror may have felt pressure to convict Avery.
“They believe Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial,” Laura Ricciardi said on NBC’s “Today” show.
Ricciardi was one of the filmmakers who spent nearly 10 years working on “Making a Murderer.”
She said the juror contacted her directly and said they had feared for their safety during the trial. The juror also added that the verdicts in Avery’s trial were a compromise.
“That was the actual word the juror used, and went on to describe the jurors ultimately trading votes in the jury room. Explicitly discussing, ‘If you vote guilty on this count, I will vote not guilty on this count.’ That was a significant revelation,” Ricciardi said.
Findley said he does not readily know where this case falls on the spectrum of possible misconduct.
Findley and the Wisconsin Innocence Project helped Avery clear his rape conviction, for which Avery spent 18 years in prison. The group grew distant from Avery after the murder conviction.
Findley said he watched the Netflix series and said was it fascinating and troubling.
“So, I think I’m where a lot of people are at,” he said.
The Wisconsin Innocence Project is talking with Avery’s trial attorneys, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, as well as other innocence organizations.
Findley said new interest has sparked questions on how to donate to a legitimate legal fund that would help the Avery family. The group has not made a decision on whether it will look into Avery’s murder conviction.
In terms of Brendan Dassey, Findley said the Wisconsin Innocence Project would likely not look into the case.
“We can’t and shouldn’t consider both cases,” Findley said.
He said the group wouldn’t represent two co-defendants on top of the fact that Dassey is being represented by another innocence project out of Chicago.