'Making A Murderer' Update: What Is Youngblood v. Arizona and Can Kathleen Zellner Free Steven Avery?

There is hope in the case of Steven Avery, according to his lawyer, Kathleen Zellner. As seen on Netflix's Making A Murderer, Avery is in prison for the murder of Teresa Halbach, though he has always maintained his innocence.

Zellner says Avery is innocent and has been working diligently to expose wrongdoings in his initial prosecution. Most recently, she requested to have said human bones tested by DNA, which she thought could be crucial to the case as they were found in an area the prosecution never mentioned. But Zellner's motion was denied by the Wisconsin court. When she dug deeper, she found out why.

The bones, which have allegedly never been scientifically tested, were returned to Halbach's family. This, Zellner considered, is a way of destroying evidence. And years ago, Avery was granted future DNA testing as the resources become available.

So Zellner filed a motion against the decision which sites a standard court case: Youngblood v. Arizona. She also referenced it in a live Twitter Question and Answer session on her account Tuesday. The case, she believes, could free Avery either with another trial or even a nearly immediate reversal of Avery's conviction.

Steven Avery attorney files new motion for appeal
Steven Avery attorney has filed a new motion for appeal. Netflix

The topic was presented during the Q&A by Twitter user @FenMa who asked: "What are the consequences of proof that a Youngblood v. Arizona violation occurred?" Zellner responded. "New trial and/or outright reversal of conviction."

Youngblood v. Arizona came from Larry Youngblood, who was imprisoned for 15 years after being wrongfully accused of child molestation, kidnapping and sexual assault. Youngblood's photo was included with other possible criminals because he was a black man with an injured left eye—just like the culprit. He was freed after three years, but his conviction was later reinstated by a higher, Arizona court. Youngblood was eventually exonerated after new DNA evidence was examined.

As Zellner sees it, Avery could also be exonerated on the right DNA evidence. She quoted Youngblood v. Arizona many times in her most recent motion. The case begs the question: is due process violated if possible evidence is destroyed?

Zellner said the bones, which have been returned to the Halbach family, have most likely been buried, she revealed during the Twitter conversation. Avery has yet to be granted a new trial, but Zellner also revealed if a new trial is allowed, his defense will be able to retest any and all evidence.

'Making A Murderer' Update: What Is Youngblood v. Arizona and Can Kathleen Zellner Free Steven Avery? | Culture