A new juror in the controversial Steven Avery trial, documented in Netflix’s new series Making a Murderer, has come forward to admit that he or she believes Avery was framed for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, in an interview with the Today show, say that juror has contacted them with new information regarding the deliberation process that ultimately led to Avery’s conviction. “[The juror] told us that they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty,” Ricciardi said. “They believe Steven was framed by law enforcement and that he deserves a new trial, and if he receives a new trial, in their opinion, it should take place far away from Wisconsin.” The juror, who has not been identified, says he or she cast a guilty vote because “they feared for their personal safety.” “They told us, really, that they were afraid that if they held out for a mistrial, that it would be easy to identify which juror had done that, and that they were fearful for their own safety,” the directors say.
Instead, the juror says a “compromise” was reached, with the jurors “ultimately trading votes in the jury room and explicitly discussing, ‘If you vote guilty on this count, I will vote not guilty on this count.’” The directors say they have not been able to verify the source’s claims, but that if Avery was offered a new trial, the juror would participate as a “source.”
Ricciardi and Demo recently told BuzzFeed that, aside from the excused juror interviewed in the show, the other jurors “entered into a pact, essentially, and would not speak publicly about their process.” But they say some of those jurors did attend the trial of Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, which they believe meant the jurors still “clearly had questions after delivering an answer.” Since the show’s debut, more than 160,000 people have signed two petitions calling for a presidential pardon of both Avery and Dassey.