Making a Murderer continues to fascinate people across the globe.
The ten-part docuseries, which chronicled the convictions of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey in the case of the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach, has brought forth key issues like police misconduct and crime scene tampering.
Avery’s lawyer Jerry Buting – who along with Dean Strang will be visiting the UK for A Conversation on Making a Murderer, where the duo will discuss the details regarding the case – gave an interview with Reason TV where he talked about the evidence in the case, cell phone records of Halbach and the discovery of new evidence by Avery’s new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner.
Zellner, a high-profile wrongful conviction specialist, has been critical about the trial process in Avery’s case on her Twitter account. She said that she has discovered new evidence that could prove Avery’s innocence. In addition to new forensic tests, she said there is cell phone tower data that serves as Avery’s alibi.
The prosecution said that Halbach was last seen on the Avery property and made no phone calls. There is new evidence that suggests her voicemails were removed after the state said she was dead.
“The singular wireless expert said [voicemail] was not full,” Buting said. “With the information they had, people who were trying to call and leave a message to her would not have gotten the message. And yet many of her friends say they called in and they were getting the message. Somehow or another messages were deleted, whether intentional and otherwise.”
Zellner will be filing the legal briefs pertaining to Avery’s appeal on August 29. The document titled “Motion to extend the time for filing defendant appellant’s brief” says that the record in the case in question was filed on April 20, 2016.
Although the brief is due 40 days thereafter, on May 31, 2016, “despite diligent and extensive efforts, commencing even before the record was sent to this Court, additional time is necessary for undersigned counsel to complete their review of the record and draft a brief.”
Speaking about what he thinks could be done to improve the justice system, Buting highlighted the issue of recordings of interrogations. “If Wisconsin had not had mandatory recordings of custodial interrogations,” he said, “the public would not have seen what Brendan Dassey’s interview was like.”
Buting pointed out that almost people confess 20 to 25 percent of the times when they are eventually exonerated by DNA evidence. This number, he further said, goes up to almost 40 percent in case of young people.
“It takes some skill and experience to present false confession case to a jury so that they understand because jurors do tend think people won’t confess falsely,” Buting said. “We know from exoneration cases that they do.”
He also said he’s optimistic about getting a criminal justice reform as it is being talked about by both parties in the current political climate.
“Something is wrong when we’re spending more time to lock people up than help educate them,” Buting said. “And people I think now are starting to push back. Through cell phone videos, [the people] are seeing the police citizen encounters aren’t always what they were told. There’s a lot of racial disparity, there’s a younger generation who is waking up and needs to be invested in taking ownership in their system.”