'Making a Murderer' Juror May Have Voted Wrongly Out of Fear "For Their Personal Safety"

On a Tuesday episode of the Today Show, new details emerged regarding the highly-visible Steven Avery case that's captured the attention of the masses via Netflix's latest documentary series, Making a Murder. During a televised episode of the news show, two of the popular show's filmmakers, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, appeared to share the update after being contacted by an unnamed juror who help convict the 53-year-old Wisconsin native of murder in 2005.

"We were contacted by one of the jurors who sat through Steven Avery's trial [who] shared with us their thoughts [and] told us they believe Steven Avery was not proven guilty," Ricciardi told the hosts of the Today Show . "[The juror] believes that 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."

Steering the line of thought as to why a juror who believed in Avery's innocence would be willing vote to incarcerate the alleged murderer, Demos added what it is perhaps a more controversial detail to the highly-debated case. According to the unnamed juror, "They feared for their personal safety," Demos said on the Today Show.

Reacting to the news, some users on Twitter were stunned at a perceived lack of justice surrounding the controversial case.

Though the unnamed juror was unwilling to come forward by name, the individual allegedly told the filmmakers that he or she would be willing to act as a "source" to the defense in the event of a retrial, the Today Show reports.

The news comes amid heightened interest in Avery's case, the backstory of which begins in 1985, when Avery was convicted of sexual assault and subsequently served 18 years in prison. After an exhaustive post-conviction investigation and the introduction of new DNA evidence that disproved Avery's guilt, he was exonerated. Yet in 2005, Avery was again convicted and sentenced to jail, this time on murder charges.

Many believe Avery was wrongly convicted for a second time, and thanks to increased exposure thanks to Netflix's documentary series, a petition calling for a presidential pardon for Avery's arrest had earned north of 250,000 signatures. 

Reads the petition, "Steven Avery should be exonerated at once by pardon, and the Manitowoc County officials complicit in his two false imprisonments should be held accountable to the highest extent of the U.S. criminal and civil justice systems."

Correction: Jan. 5, 2016
An earlier version of this post said that Avery was convicted of sexual assault in 1955. Avery was convicted in 1985.

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Liz Rowley

Liz is a staff writer at Mic, covering breaking news. She is based in New York and can be reached at lrowley@mic.com.

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