Tricia Bushnell, the woman who has partnered with the lawyer of Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery, Kathleen Zellner, is also working on other exoneration cases.
Avery, whose conviction has been chronicled in the docuseries Making a Murderer, spent 18 years in prison before being released in 2003. Two years later, in 2005, he was arrested for the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also arrested for acting as his uncle’s accomplice.
Bushnell, who is working with the Midwest Innocence Project, is investigating another case involving a witness being pressured by the police.
“They came to her and said, ‘Behind the door is a bad man, and if you don’t pick the bad man, he’ll go free,’” Bushnell said. The suspect in the case, Rodney Lincoln, is serving his sentence behind bars on the testimony of the child who watched her mother die in 1982. The child survived the attack.
“The victim has now realized that it was not Mr. Lincoln who was there. She has recanted that identification and she wants him out,” Bushnell said.
In June, DNA evidence was presented that proved the hair collected from the murder scene was not Lincoln’s. However, he lost the court appeal. She and MIP have been working on the case since 2005.
Nevertheless, it is only one of the several cases that the organization across five states – Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas – is working on. Currently it has as many as 600 cases on its waiting list, but does not have adequate money. MIP is dependent on donations.
“We need money – to test things, to get experts,” Bushnell said.
According to 41 Action News, the exoneration of an innocent man can take up to seven to ten years. The case of Floyd Bledsoe, who was freed in December, was worked on for more than a decade.