- Convicted murderer Steven Avery has always maintained his innocence.
- In January 2016, he hired famous wrongful convictions lawyer Kathleen Zellner.
- She’s overturned 19 convictions as of 2018 and vows that Avery will be next.
Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” docu-series, was convicted in 2007 of murdering Teresa Halbach in 2005.
He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but Avery has maintained his innocence and claims he did not kill Halbach.
Now, Avery has a new lawyer on his side determined to free him from prison, and she’s heavily featured in part two of the docu-series. Her name is Kathleen Zellner, and she is a very famous Chicago-based wrongful convictions lawyer.
We broke down everything you need to know about Zellner ahead of “Making a Murderer Part 2.”
Kathleen Zellner is a Chicago-based lawyer best known for winning wrongful conviction cases
Zellner also has received professional praise from some of her fellow lawyers, as seen in a report from Post-Crescent.
Karen Seimetz, who once went up against Zellner in court, said she was a “fierce and formidable opponent” who played both fairly and professionally.
“She’ll go through a case with a fine-tooth comb,” Seimetz told the paper. “I think that’s part of what makes her a challenge because she really knows the case and she will find every flaw that there is to find.”
As of 2018, Zellner has overturned 19 convictions. According to her website, these exonerations often came in serious cases dealing with murder, rape, kidnapping, and more.
She did, notably, turn down serial killer John Wayne Gacy and his request for her to appeal his conviction, according to the Chicago Tribune.
According to ABC News, when Zellner’s firm announced her representation of Avery, the press release concluded by saying, “The Zellner Law Firm is looking forward to adding Mr. Avery to its long list of wrongful conviction exonerations.”
And Zellner has been hard at work trying to make that happen over the last two years. But she has run into some roadblocks along the way.
Avery’s request for a retrial was denied in 2017
In October 2017, Avery’s appeal for a new trial was denied.
So, throughout much of 2018, Zellner fought to have what she believed was new evidence added to Avery’s appeal process, reports Fox 11.
But in September 2018, her motion was denied by the circuit court, per another Post-Crescent article. The judge ruled that the evidence Zellner wanted to submit had already been given to the defence during Avery’s initial trial, and therefore didn’t warrant any new action now.
Zellner says she’s ready to fight for Avery’s freedom ‘no matter how long it takes’
Steven Avery is at the beginning not end of his fight for freedom. We will wage this war no matter how long it takes, how much it cost or who goes down for this disgraceful prosecution. The State’s forensic evidence cannot be replicated. @lifeafterten @michellemalkin @EFMoriarty
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) October 19, 2018
Just one day before “Making a Murderer Part 2” dropped on Netflix, she took to Twitter to remind everyone that she and Avery were still fighting for his release.
“Steven Avery is at the beginning not end of his fight for freedom,” she wrote in a tweet. “We will wage this war no matter how long it takes, how much it cost or who goes down for this disgraceful prosecution.”
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