Why Steven Avery Won’t Get a Retrial
If you have not watched the highly addictive real life documentary on Netflix, Making A Murderer about Steven Avery and his nephew Bobby Dassey, then I implore you to go watch it.
Before you continue to read, please be warned there might be spoilers in this article. If you do not want to know finer details or how things end for Steven and Bobby, please stop reading here.
The documentary filmed over the course of 10 years tells the story of Steve Avery, a man who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. It really highlighted the shortcomings of the legal system and where it all went wrong.
Steven gets out of prison and then amounts a $36 million lawsuit against the Manitowoc County sheriff's department for the way they handled the case. All signs were pointing to Steve winning the case. Everyone was on his side. In another blow for the sheriff's department, the insurance companies said that if Steven were to win, they wouldn’t cover the cost because of the nature of the circumstances. This meant the sheriff's department was potentially up for a case they would not have the funds to cover.
Then Steven Avery was accused of violently raping, torturing and killing Teresa Halbach, a photographer for a magazine called AutoTrader who had previously been out to the Avery property a few times beforehand to take photos of cars and this time it was for a van Steven was selling.
This was the last time she would supposedly be seen alive by anyone. Naturally, the police had their crosshairs locked on Avery. Logically, Steven Avery’s van was her last job for the day.
Bones of a cremated human body were found on the property in a fire pit, Teresa’s RAV4 (poorly covered in branches and wood) was found in strange circumstances on the 40 acre property in about 20 minutes of searching (Teresa’s sister found the car).
A car key purported to be for the RAV4 was found in Steven’s room behind a bookshelf 8 days after searching (with many searches conducted beforehand) which weirdly had Steven’s DNA on it, but no DNA of anyone else (like Teresa), blood matching Steven’s was found weirdly placed on the inside near the steering wheel, but supposedly no other DNA or fingerprints belong to Steven were.
Unless significant evidence were to be found that conclusively proves Steven’s innocence beyond all reasonable doubt, there will be no retrial. The reason for this is simple: thanks to the Netflix documentary and popularity, no jury would most likely convict Steven Avery of these crimes after seeing the documentary, which the Manitowoc district attorney and judges probably already know. Could you imagine the civil suit Steven could file if it were proven he did not kill Teresa?
Even those within the community and greater Wisconsin area who have seen the documentary are starting to change their minds. If this were to go to a jury again, I think you would see Avery being freed on all counts. This is not to say it would prove Steven did not kill Teresa, but I think it would be indicative of a jury that had the real facts and understanding of how the case was previously handled.
In the original case that saw Avery convicted on two of the three counts brought against him thanks to a jury, the prosecution controlled the narrative. They cleverly and emotionally manipulated the jury into ignoring the doubt and played the: FBI and police can be trusted card.
The thought of a retrial must scare Manitowoc, because if Steven is cleared, we will be witnessing the largest civil lawsuit ever. So large, that it would undeniably bankrupt Manitowoc as the insurance companies like the first civil suit, would not cover the cost most likely.