For many viewers, Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer brought to light the dark realities of America’s criminal justice system, how sometimes innocent people might get convicted for crimes they didn’t commit. The series focused specifically on Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who was convicted of murdering a young woman named Teresa Halbach with the help of his nephew Brendan Dassey, and the many irregularities in the case against him (not the least of which being that Avery previously had been convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder and eventually was proven innocent). The show helped create momentum to get Avery a new trial, but that appeal hit a roadblock this week when Judge Angela Sutkiewicz of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, denied the request for a new trial.
“The defendant has failed to establish any grounds that would trigger the right to a new trial in the interests of justice,” Sutkiewicz wrote in her ruling. “As such, no further consideration will be given to this issue.”
Avery’s team, however, vows to fight on. His lawyer Kathleen Zellner told EW in a statement that they will be filing a motion to vacate Sutkiewicz’s ruling.
“The basis for the order to vacate will be that an agreement was reached between Mr. Avery’s attorneys and the Wisconsin Attorney General on Sept. 18, 2017, to conduct further testing and to allow Mr. Avery to amend his petition with new scientific test results and additional witness affidavits,” Zellner said in the statement. “With the addition of these new scientific test results and new evidence, Mr. Avery’s attorneys remain confident that his conviction will be vacated.”
A second season of Making a Murderer could hit Netflix before the end of this year.