Culture

Steven Avery of 'Making a Murderer' Fame Appeals Murder Conviction

Screenshot from Netflix.com

Civilization continues on its trajectory toward becoming one massive multiplayer online reality show. Case in point: one convict, who many have come to believe was falsely accused, now seeks appeal after achieving internet fame. From The Hollywood Reporter:

Steven Avery, the main subject of the Netflix series Making a Murderer, filed an appeal asking that his 2005 murder conviction be thrown out due to numerous factors.

Avery filed the documents himself on Jan. 7, and they were processed by the Wisconsin court system on Monday.

Avery served 18 years in prison for a sexual assault conviction out of Manitowoc County, Wis., for which he was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003. Then in 2005, Avery was convicted of the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted for the same murder. Dassey’s lawyers argued his confession to authorities was coerced.

The Netflix series, which premiered last month and has skyrocketed in popularity, raises numerous questions as to whether Avery committed the murder or was framed.

Regardless of his guilt or innocence, one can hardly blame Avery for taking advantage of favorable winds. By all accounts, filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi had no intention of exonerating Avery when they began filming a decade ago. But if Avery ultimately benefits from their effort, it could signal a new trend in criminal defense. Producing a documentary may be a tall order for most defendants, but savvy use of media to foster sympathy could become practical among those with the means.