Does Steven Avery's Latest Appeal Have Any Shot in Hell?
Avery — who served two years in prison for burglary; nine months for burning a cat alive; six years for assaulting his cousin at gunpoint after repeatedly exposing himself to her; and an additional 12 years for a rape he didn’t commit — filed an appeal riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes. The gist of his claims, however, are clear. He argues that 1) the evidence secured from his property should be excluded because the search warrant was invalid and, 2) a juror in the trial for the murder of Teresa Halbach influenced the rest of the jury into convicting him.
Do the claims have any shot in hell?
As his own lawyers made clear in Making a Murderer, Steven Avery will almost certainly serve life in prison unless he can find new evidence in the case or someone else comes forward and admits they murdered Teresa Halbach. All other legal arguments have been exhausted, including his argument that the search warrant was invalid. That claim was heard on appeal in Wisconsin, and rightfully batted away unanimously.
As to the second claim, that a juror influenced others to vote guilty? Well, that’s not really a thing. I mean, that’s kind of the role of a juror: To persuade others to vote along with him or her. Peer pressure in jury deliberations can get incredibly intense, especially when there are only a few holdouts. Unless there was an outside influence or death threats, I’ve never really heard of a verdict being overturned under this claim, and verdicts definitely cannot be overturned because a juror later had regrets about his or her decision. There have been reports that the jury essentially came to a compromise on the verdict (throwing out one of the charges in exchange for guilty verdicts on the murder), but that is fairly common in jury deliberations. It is the nature of the imperfect jury system.
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