Kathleen Zellner


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This is the story of a woman who work in the criminal justice system has shined the spotlight on wrongful convictions in the united. States, and while her work enlightened us all they case that inspired her. Efforts is one that just might haunt us. This is episode twenty one. The casting Zellner story. Hey Amy good to you today Hi Megan Miss You I miss you too and I can't wait 'til. We're recording again together I know. Let's give some shoutout, so you ready my favorite part. Let's do it I. Love this to okay. I is an Drina from Switzerland. Injuring andrine actually helped us with some social media stuff she like volunteer time, and made us even like a little document, and I just end. She didn't make us feel old when we had no clue about this. I felt old anyway, but love you Andrea. Thank you so much. We have a Bailey from Illinois, and she came from listening from up zest heard about us, and then came over. Oh, thanks, Bailey and Bailey has a question for us. How often do you think the backlog of DNA testing keeps victims from justice and perpetrators from being charged men and women? And what can we do to help? End The backlog I. Love that question for the answer to the first part is a strong. Yes, so I think the number. One thing we could do is ask Congress to prioritize. Prioritize funding so I've read some reports that say there's over one hundred thousand rape kits that are currently sitting untested, so that means a hundred thousand victims who have not received justice that also means potentially one hundred thousand rapists who have not been apprehended and just as bad it could also very well mean that people that are wrongfully convicted that are wrongfully charged of rapes that these rape kits could possibly exonorated. Did you know something interesting? Meghan that some labs consider backlog at a sample is not tested for only ninety days. I had no idea, even more surprising is. Considered a backlog after only thirty days, so it is interesting to think about. When does a sample become considered backlog versus a current sample? It's all about just prioritizing funding. Yeah, I think one of the things that happened was that they were collecting DNA for a long time, but didn't have the technology all the sudden. There's the technology, but then there's all these untested kits already. So then where do you start and so I think the backlog was a function of that and begin from the beginning, and now we just need more DNA technicians more money. It really is a funding issue, and unfortunately it's not always easy to get funding. No, it's not, but we hope. We hope that there is funding for this issue. It's really really important. I think we're going to see that happen. Thank you for your question. Belly. Hope that answers it next. We have brook from Flagstaff Arizona and Brooke actually wrote to US suggesting that we visit Sedona and staff. Saying how pretty they are on our trip that we're taking the summer when you say our trip, you don't mean me a new. James. SEDONA right? Yes, I was actually born in Arizona Fun fact Sedona is breathtakingly beautiful. You need to go there. Okay, thank you so much for the right now. We have a friend that we can visit when we go I was GONNA. Say That I keep saying that like. Oh, so we'll see there everyone that'd be like Oh my God. These girls were really going. Look stop now. Thanks for the suggestion Brooke. We have cindy from Utah Ironically Cindy. We might also be taking a road trip out there and when I say we I mean me and James Sorry. We have cassie from Columbia Missouri Question. She is curious what we think about the. Laurie, Valo, case. I've been on this for a while. I actually wrote back to Cassie but let me just also say that I. Think it's too soon to say what the cause of death is for the kids. and I'm talking about four. Thailand jj I read something that said they died a gruesome death as I read. I realized they still didn't know how it was way too premature. They should not be publishing anything like. Like that I mean. We hope they didn't suffer like it's like now that we know. We just have to hope that it was as painless and as quick as possible in terms of Laurie Valo I don't know about her. Mental State and I would need to know more about it. What I've read is that she believed her kids. ZOMBIES and other people were zombies, and they had dark souls, and she had. Had to do something to eradicate it i. know that. She was very heavily influenced by Chad Day bells, teachings and two things I, said when she goes with the legal strategy. I'm going to assume that either. They're going to try to pin it on her brother. WHO has gone or they're going to try to pleaded insanity, defense and I would love to cover this case when we get a little more information as As you mentioned. It's so early on, so it's really hard to speculate and I think it's problematic when people speculate before having all the facts anyway, right? Yeah, so we will actually come back to this when we have more information, thank you for your support. We have McKenna from Los Angeles Yeah. I love your name McKenna. Her sister and her mom also listened to the podcast. Oh Dang, like a family thing. We, have Sarah Lou Cozy and Sarah is. A direct appeal listener as well Sarah. What do you think innocent or guilty? We need to know and finally we have tomorrow Hawthorne from Queensland Australia, Oh. How amazing thank you Tamara Australia is be useful. I had the honour of going there. Megan two years ago and I have to say it is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visit I remember, do you remember I could've gone as well but I was afraid to get on the plane and go that far. Yes your baby. You missed out trip. I held a Koala and Kangaroo Tamara. Actually also has a whole squad of listeners as well so thank you and let me also say that We're reading tomorrow's name this time and not last week because James Forgot her on the last list. You're fired James Word sorry. Tamara hope. hope we don't forget you in the future, we'll blame it on James though. Yes, and that's it. Thank you so much. Everyone. Thanks for writing US again. Love the questions and we really liked the engagement, so today's case is one I. AM super excited about, and it's so excited to talk to amy about so based my description. Do you know who I'm covering today? I'm going to have to say Kathleen Zellner Ding. Dang, you got it is Kathleen Zellner. Many of you might know her from. Her part to she is Steven Avery's lawyer and we are going to actually get to a couple of her cases and updates on the Steven Avery case but I want to begin by giving you a look at Kathleen backgrounds, and what led her down this path to become the lead wrongful conviction attorney. I would say or lead wrongful conviction exoneration attorney in the united. States because to date Kathleen has nineteen exonerates Turney, which is just an incredible feat Kathleen was born on May, seventh, nineteen, Fifty, seven to winifred and. Daniel Thomas she was raised by her parents in Midland Texas along with her seven siblings until such time when they moved to Bartlesville Oklahoma from a young age, Kathleen envisioned herself working for the FBI or as an investigative journalist, and I'd just like to say amy side note that I wanted to work as a criminal lawyer or like an investigator as well since I've been about seven or eight so I, totally related to that Kathleen also learned martial arts at a young age, and she was the type of kid and this. This will come probably as no surprise, who didn't tolerate bullying either for herself or people around her, Kathleen originally attended Marquette University in Wisconsin with aspirations of becoming a history professor, but the school was not for her, and after one semester she transferred to the university, of Missouri where she met her husband Robert Zellner with whom she has one daughter. Her name is an an is also a practicing attorney. Robert and Kathleen would go on to live in Montreal briefly, which is really where Kathleen finished her bachelor degree in Montreal. It was reportedly Robert, who recognized that Kathleen's strong will would serve her well in the legal field, and with his support and really his. Kathleen attended Northern Illinois. Law School Kathleen worked for other firms for a bit, but she actually opened her own firm specializing in medical malpractice in nineteen, ninety, also handling prisoner, abuse cases and wrongful conviction cases, and while we all know her for these famous cases. Let's hear how she got to where she is today. Because I'm not sure if anyone knows the case that led her to only want. Want to defend truly innocent people. Do you know this case or no? No, maybe once you say it, but I don't know who you're listening to okay. This is the case that I did not know her for either, and I found so interesting, and I fell down a rabbit hole on this one, and this is the Larry Eyler case nope never is. Amy Is still blind on that one. So. It's sounds vaguely familiar, but I definitely don't know shortly after Zellner that practice in nineteen, ninety, an anti-death penalty organization asked her to take on the appeal of Larry Eyler, convicted of murdering and dismembering fifteen year old boy. Eyler was a young attractive house painter in the nineteen seventies and eighties living in Indiana. He had a very troubled childhood, though filled with alcoholism and abuse by his parents and several stepfather's. Eyler also struggled with his sexuality, and he had feelings of self loathing because he was gay and it was said that. Would kill young gay men after sexual encounters because this inner conflict that he had now I just told you that he was convicted of dismembering and killing a boy, and then I'm saying now. There are multiple victims here, so keep that in mind. I lived with Robert David little. He was an older professor who worked at Indiana State University, but this was a platonic relationship Because Eyler was also, he was younger, he was attractive, little was a little, a little bit older and not so attractive. It was just a platonic living situation, but I learned also was involved with a married man, a man who is married to woman, and this was actually a serious relationship and the wife. Wife knew about it, and apparently was tolerant of this relationship Isla was back and forth between them, but when he was with little little, paid the bills, and supposedly it was so that Eyler was the young handsome guy who would kind of bring home, young handsome men for little to engage with as well because he was also gay, so I think that he was kind of you know the one who was able to get other people. I mean it. It wasn't a great picture from the start of their arrangement, but dubbed the highway killer Eyler killed an estimated twenty, two twenty three young men, many of whom were found near highways. He disposed of their bodies on the side of highways. Robert David little was also charged with murder as an accomplice in at least one of these murders, but he was acquitted of. Of all charges and return to his university position when Zellner came onto the case, it was at the part where islands was in his appeals, and she worked hard to broker a deal with prosecutors, and at first islanders family I mean they I looked at the footage and they were. They defended him, and said that he he couldn't have done this and whatnot but eyler. Confessed to Kathleen that he had committed a a number of these murders, and he said that he would reveal the names of his other victims if they would take the death penalty off the table because he had been sentenced to death for that one murder so Kathleen Zellner went and started brokering these deals and a had to happen with different prosecutors because they were actually many jurisdictions. It wasn't just an Indiana. It was a couple of Midwestern states where the bodies were found, so she went to work, and she got most of the prosecutors to agree, but there was one who really wouldn't and the deal ultimately fell through and eyler would die of AIDS related complications in prison in nineteen ninety four. But what happened after that was also a very unique so one year after his death Kathleen Zellner held a press conference, in which she revealed the names of islanders. Victims she said that either maintained the whole time that Robert David little. The professor lived with was absolutely an accomplice in several of the murders, also even the ones he was not, he still knew about them and eyler maintain that little actually committed the murders himself and Zellner revealed this information as well at the press conference. How was she allowed to do that isn't. Isn't there like attorney client privilege right so I'm glad you asked that because that's exactly what I thought. He gave permission to do so so he went dot his head. One idea you could do yes. He said when he died. I guess she had said it was like the only redeeming acts. He thought he could give was to at least give the families there. There there there remains, and what happened to their loved ones, so that's why she was allowed to at that time. Kathleen Zellner vowed that she would never work again for someone she thought was guilty that she would only work to defend the innocent. You know it's interesting to take serial killers and I actually didn't know Larry Eyler so I fell down such a rabbit. Rabbit hole with this I'm looking at everything and especially the connection with the professor. And he stood trial, and he was acquitted. And you know it's funny because when you started talking about him. I just assumed it was going to be a wrongful conviction. Case Remember you said he killed twenty something people on like. How do you get wrongfully convicted of being serious? It's actually really interesting. Although you know what I'm like side, note that Atlanta Monster Remember Eight. They say he's a wrongful conviction so. I don't know but anyway okay so Kathleen's You got a thriving practice a few years after the case Zellner took on a wrongful conviction case for Joseph burroughs. Have you ever heard his name? I but I don't remember the case. Boroughs was awaiting execution for the murder of an eighty eight year old retired farmer named William Doolan in an attempted robbery. What happened here, too? So how did they know this was an attempted robbery? Robbery of this eighty eight year olds while these other characters that come into play, Chuck Gillian and Gail Potter, who is going to play a very integral role in this case attempted to cash a four thousand dollar check of William, De Lawns but the bank employees this being like a small town recognize immediately that this wasn't the guy. This wasn't the old farmer, so they called the police because they knew William de Leon well. Authorities New Gail Potter, as a local cocaine dealer who had been arrested previously, she'd been arrested for drug dealing. She was a drug dealer. That day when authorities went to talk to her, she had visible cuts and bruises on her. You know the cop bring in, and they're grilling her essentially interrogating her, but scaring her so much so that she falsely implicates Joseph burroughs who she said was a collector of drug debt money so basically. This was a short thing that happened. The cops are like. Tell us you did it you. We know that you're involved in this somehow, but the cops didn't think because she's a woman and I. I love that we look at this gender lens that she's capable of this crime. Right so they pressure her and she very quickly turns over boroughs name, so who has boroughs? We all have a bad habit. We want to change. 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You can get one hundred dollars off your first month on talk space to match with your perfect therapist. Go Talk, space, dot, com, or download the APP. Make sure to use the code. Women Crime to get one hundred dollars off your first month and show support for the show. That's women, Crime and Talk Space Dot Com. I don't know about you. Amy Seriously I feel like I. Need Summer vacation from cooking. Totally agree. That's why lately I've been skipping out on meal prep and keeping things easy with my daily Harvest Meghan. Did you know that right now? Daily harvest is helping me beat the heat with refreshing smoothies and delicious scoops their new plant based ice cream new. Know How much I love a screen. It was just going to say at Amy's obsessed with ice. Ice Cream so I'm sure this is like a safe for you and my kids are obsessed with ice cream, and I can give my kids the ice cream. They're happy and they're actually getting good nutrients, because it's plant-based, agree. Daily harvest is a lifesaver. They help you stock your home with clean delicious food that's built on real fruits and vegetables with daily harvest. There's tons of options for any time of the day from you smoothies to the harvest. Harvest bowls which we both loved the flat breads and more and the best part. It's really ready to enjoy in minutes. Keep it simple this summer with daily harvest go to daily harvests, dot com, and enter Promo Code Women to get twenty five dollars off your first box. That's Promo Code Women W. O. M. E. N. for twenty five dollars off your first box at daily, Harvest Dot Com daily harvest dot com well. He's a guy who's got. got a history of fences, also, though none of them are violent, but he was like a very big burly, looking guy, and he kind of fit the bill like if you look at the pictures of him and I was encouraged people to go ahead and look, he's big, and he looks tough and I think coupled with his record. The police are seeing the most logical suspect to them like he looks like what a murderer is going to look. So he's arrested and they have another witness Ralph Fry, but it became obvious that Ralph Ri-. His testimony in his statement was absolutely riddled with inaccuracies, but he also pointed to boroughs as the killer fry potter. So this is Ralph rise the second one is Gail Potter. Their stories didn't match either. I have to tell you the list goes on and on with the inaccuracies in the problem in this death penalty case enter Kathleen. Zellner she took on the case, but she took it on kind of reluctantly I believe she's still kind of had a bad taste. Taste in our mouth from what happened with the case, most people had focused on Ralph, fries, testimony, and trying to work with that like where the problems were with fries testimony but Zellner actually was really smart. She skillfully worked the prosecution's star Witness Gail. Potter the woman so Zellner started visiting Gail Potter in prison, and just asking questions, and you know I think she i? Don't think she thought Potter was GONNA. Keep meeting with her or whatnot or keep talking to her. She definitely describes potter as having antisocial characteristics for shore, but Potter kept meeting with her and. and. She kept listening to Kathleen and during one of these meetings, Zellner actually said to her. You Know I. Think it was a woman who shot William de Leon, and Potter really admired Zellner to. She came to admire her and her response was. You're right. A woman did do it I shot building, so she actually admitted to Kathleen Zellner that she was the real perpetrator of the crime. Yeah, and soon cutting a deal, she trying to go at this point. Zellner is boroughs. Attorney can offer her anything She's she's advocating for her client, but what would happen? Happen. was that not only did she admit it, but Zellner skillfully got hurt the to commit to. And she confessed on the stand later on, and what happened. Boroughs was released in one, thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, four. He was considered a wrongful conviction I. I'm clear as to why this happened, but maybe it was because it was early. Apparently, he was in like a multimillion dollar lawsuit, but then settled for a hundred thousand dollars for his wrongful conviction. You probably know that happens a la. Yeah, because a lot of times you know when you are going to. File a suit. You're going to go big, and then it's like a negotiations you go back and forth until you set on something, you'll see a lot of times. They start in the millions, and they end up in a couple hundred thousand. Okay I. Know I guess there's bigger settlements now, too. I'm assuming because it was ninety four, and this was like really free wrongful conviction compensation, and it sounds like it wasn't a DNA exoneration, which is why it's probably not as famous. Yeah, okay, you know. She was really hailed for her skills in getting a getting someone to confess to the murder. Murder Oh interestingly what happened to Gail Potter? I. Know We say interestingly all the time, though, but I was really curious like okay, so this woman goes on the stand that admits like when she going to be tried with murder right? NOPE, they perjury at the very least for I very smart, amy, that's right up serving five years for perjury or sentenced to five years for perjury, but that then ever bothered going after her for the murder, and that happens though also we know in wrongful conviction cases when the prosecutor and law enforcement. They don't believe it's even with her admitting it. Still, believe now. She just said that She feels bad or you know what I mean so. Gail Potter didn't really wind up doing much time at all but Kathleen Zellner. Really showed you know how incredibly smart she was so Kathleen. Zellner has gone on to represent a number of other people, but I would wanNA talk about two more cases. The ones that maybe people know about so the first one another notable case of Kathleen is the Ryan. Case I. Believe, Amy. You know this quite well, so if I get anything wrong here I'M GONNA. Just step in and just correct me. Okay, sure I met Ryan a couple of times at the innocence network. Conference is very nice guy. That's right. Does he attend all regularly Yep, and is he usually a featured speaker there I'm sometimes sometimes. He's just there a lot of. Just go to you know for the Camaraderie. And also they attend different sessions with other exonerates and right. Okay, let's talk about Ryan Ferguson for people who don't know him at age. Seventeen Ryan Ferguson was arrested for the murder of sports editor Kent Height Holds a man that Ryan didn't know Ken had been beaten to death in the parking lot behind where he worked in an eyewitness reported seeing two college age kids outside near Kent's car. That night, Ryan and his friend. Charles Erickson were in the area attending Halloween. Parties Erickson had apparently a lot of drugs in his system, so he'd done a couple of different types of drugs, and he subsequently became convinced that he was somehow involved in the murder, so he turned himself into the police, claiming that he had dreamlike visions of what he and Ryan had done Ryan. Ryan when they pulled him in, did talk to the police, but he absolutely maintained his innocence from the beginning, said absolutely not I was not involved. I know nothing about this Erickson actually had no memory of the evening, either, but by trial time he had a story about him and Ryan for which he was offered a deal. His story was obviously kind of convincing trial. A janitor also positively identified Ryan as being in the parking lot, so you have an eyewitness identification here and you have Ryan's friends, saying yes, we did this together. A confession and eyewitness identification, which are two of the reasons why most wrongful convictions happen right so again re Ryan's at trial. He maintained his innocence, but he was convicted of the murder and sentenced to forty years in prison, despite there being no physical evidence whatsoever to tie him to the crime later both. End The janitor recanted saying that they had both lied. Due to police coercion so Erickson was confused. I think you know he was kind of convinced as to historian locked into a that, he would tell but the janitor. Why would he lie right? That was what I wondered. So do you know this is something about him? There was like a picture of the boys in the newspaper after they were already arrested. That's something I may. May have been the case, but the reason why he lied and why he was so easily coerced is because he said that he felt scared by the police because he was actually a registered sex offender, and so he was like terrified of the police and I'm sure it was biased account or so he felt that kind of pressure, so they both took the stand later table said that they lied. Ferguson was released and exonerated. Exonerated after serving nine years in prison may be closer to ten as I understand it, but I. I also when I was reading. Some of the article saw that he wound up staying. They didn't release him right away. So after the testimony of these two, they got on the stand they recanted. Zellner said she thought Ferguson would be released pretty quickly because that's usually the way that would work, but I think he was. was still in prison for another year or so I think it took really quite some time, but he was exonerated and net release the documentary dream killer about the case, if you WANNA watch it in which Zellner is also featured and Ryan. Ferguson goes down as one of her one of her exonerations. Amy, you want to add anything to that. I'm not sure I missed anything. You did a good a good summary there, but. Just something that shows Ryan's character is even though Eriksson implicated him. He's actually fighting for Ericsson is in prison serving twenty five years right now. Actually I think it's for lying under oath, but either way Ryan is trying to get him out even though he's screwed him so bad I did not know that so I saw that Eriksson he got twenty five years in the plea deal. That was the original plea deal in which he said because he said he committed the murder to. They did it together, so I had no idea that Ferguson was. was trying to help get him ow, so although he did the plea deal for twenty five I think even if if Ryan is exonerated based on the fact that this crime didn't occur that way, then that would also mean that Ericsson probably is innocent as well right, so they really can only hold him then on lying under oath I would think the same thing, too, if the if he's exonerated, although no. If you think about it this way, they could say like Eriksson. Committed the Crime Yeah Ferguson is exonerated Ericsson dragged him and says. I think Ferguson. He knows he was with Ericsson so I think that's why he's so adamant on helping him because he feels bad for the skin, kids clear. Up because he didn't do it, I was with him at night right. I think you're right. Though I think that really indicates his character. I've also seen him. Speak I've not met him like you have, but I've watched him and I mean he really seems like he's just seems like such solid character and his family, and you just seems he seems like a good person. Yeah, I was GONNA. Say his family's often at those conferences as well. Well and they're a really amazing group of people. And they really advocated for him, and stood by him, and he had a great Ti- was. He's one of the lucky ones. You had a great team of people and one of the lucky ones who had Kathleen Zellner to represent him, so let's talk about Steven Avery, because most of our listeners will probably know Kathleen Zellner because of Steven Avery case and I'm not sure amy of you watched. Murder and making of a murderer part partout. I'm embarrassed to say. I've never watched it. In its entirety I've seen bits and pieces I've written a book, so I know the case well, but okay so Zellner Kathleen. Zellner doesn't come in until part to. Be. Handling his appeal I know a lot of our listeners. Watch have watched this, but for those of you who may be fuzzy and some of the details? We don't know the whole story. I'm just GONNA. Give you a brief background on every case. Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted for a brutal rape, a crime for which he exonerated with DNA evidence after spending eighteen years in prison. Amy, what's the average for exonerates for the time they spend in prison. I don't know that off hand there's. There's different because some estimates only include DNA exonerated. Some include everyone. It ranges around twelve years some times as high as fifteen but I. I would say thirteen if I had okay actually what I felt, the number was so good. I know amy. You know the case, so maybe you could give us a little more background on the wrongful conviction and exoneration, not surprisingly because we know I witnessed identification errors are the number one factor in Ronco convictions the victim pick them from a lineup. But what I find the most striking here is he had an alibi, not only did he have a receipt? He had eighteen eye witnesses who vouched for him regardless he was still convicted of rape and attempted murder and something else about this case I wanNA point out is the real perpetrator actually remained free, and he ended up raping more women, and if you look at the pictures, they actually did look alike as we see. They looked a lot alike I agree. Thank you for that background. Yeah. I forgot he had eighteen eye witnesses I. mean it's just you don't think this kind of thing is going to happen, but obviously our listeners and other people in this area. No, it does. Just two years after Avery's release, he was arrested for the murder of Theresa. How a young photographer who went missing after her trip to the avery salvage yard she had planned to take some photos of vehicle for auto trader magazine. How becks remains her buried bones were later found on the avery property along with her vehicle and other items, and every was arrested. In the course of the investigation police interrogated avery nephew, a then sixteen year old Brandon Dessie, who had a low Iq, and who would confess during a very questionable interview that he and his uncle Rape Theresa before murdering her and burning her body. Have you ever seen the DOC- interviews? Yes, I have I mean it's. It is hard to watch it. It's it is hard to watch, and I encourage people to watch it because it's hard to watch because you need to see and you. You need to see how you feel about this. So dossier and avery were both convicted of the murder, but in two thousand sixteen s he's conviction was overturned, but later the appellate court restored the conviction in the US Supreme Court refused to hear his case, which means that Brendan Desi is out of legal options. He's done with his appeals process. I mean there's really not much more. That's going to happen for. Him I mean I'm shocked. I was really shocked. Scream court actually refused to. To hear the case, I really really believe they would I do think he may have a case similar tastes in Toya Brown where he might start gaining a lot of you know a lot of flooding a lot of support people standing behind him at maybe it'll get the attention and maybe clemencies in his future. Who knows yeah? I guess that would be as he's out of appeals, but you're right. I think there's been heavy strong interest in his case, a lot of sympathy towards. Towards him and I could see that as an option, so thank you for pointing that out. Okay Avery as always maintained his innocence and Zellner said she took on his case because she was troubled by the revelation of certain damning evidence, that did not appear during the initial searches of his home, but was only later discovered by police officers state police officers. Just you know who are part of the civil suit that avery filed against them for his wrongful conviction for thirty six million dollars. That's a that's a strong incentive you know. They searched his his, I think it was his trailer mobile. They searched his mobile home in. Initially didn't find Theresa's keys, but then on a second search when they came back, they find a single keynoter keys, but a single key, and it was like so Zellner said she was watching making a murderer, and she was like I. was a little bit troubled by some of the things that I saw here, and she said that she he was innocent, so she took on his case and she's been making some progress with this case. There's been a little bit of. Of a back and forth like she's gotten some hearings, you know he probably wouldn't have gotten without her, but there was a request so i. think she was granted a motion to examine Theresa Hell becks remains, but then I believe the the remains are the bones. The police turned it over to Therese's family. So I think the motion is kind of in a I'm not really sure what's happening exactly with that kind of Nikki Gray area right here. I'm not sure if. It's very confusing. Right she. All I can say is that she still in the appeals process? They still have upcoming hearings so I mean. Avery got a great shot if he's with Kathleen Zellner, somebody once asked me what does indirect appeal. What does Melanie McGuire need? And unlike she needs a confession from someone else, or Kathleen Zellner represent her, because I can't. I can't think of what else the case Lot Kathleen Zellner only represents people she believes are innocent i. Believe that Melanie's and I know that's a great question. I would also like to say for this I know Kathleen I did I reached out. I sent her an email just to see if she would be interested in interviewing I haven't heard back remember but I suspect she's busy. Exonerating people left and right quickly before we get to the end here, but I always wondered. What your opinion of do you have? An opinion of Avery in terms of his innocence or guilt is so the fact that Kathleen Zellner took the case made me believe more strongly in his innocence, because I trust her judgment, but I go back and forth you also I. Don't know if you came across the fact that there. There was like a vial of blood from an earlier case. His blood was on file because he had a prior record. Even before the wrongful conviction, and they found that it had been unsealed and punctured I saw that, too, but then they tested the blood, and they couldn't find a preservative, but then someone said wouldn't necessarily show up, so there's a lot of things that could be shady, but could also be nothing also. Also there's something about the jurors like there were two jurors that had relatives that worked for the county in which she had the lawsuit pending like one was like a sheriff's father and someone else, and I. Don't remember that well. The case is such a rabbit hole I don't know and then there was something not long ago. where like an inmate confessed to killing theresa? How back did you hear that one I heard. Heard that, too, but they they didn't give it much credibility. You know usually you can't give those things much credibility, so I go back and forth I think if I had to say, I would say I think he's innocent. Because I think corruption exists, and as much as I would hate to believe, it could exist at this level I think it. Could we've seen? Yes, you see in cases in which it does and. I think once someone's wrongfully convicted. It doesn't look good for the police department and those involved put on top of that not always reputation harmed. Now you have this huge lawsuit pending, right? That's that's motive for me. Yeah, that's a fair opinion. People ask me this all the time about avery because it's. So I'm with you. I actually go back and forth all the time to be honest, I can make a justification on both sides. I believe the entire process is tainted. Dirty Trial Dirty K.. Everything is tainted about this, but if I had to go with like if someone was forcing me to to make an opinion I would actually go with guilty, and I'm not sure that I have the anything other than just a gut feeling at the end, so the reason I also when I, you know like I said I went back, and forth a little, too is if he was wrongfully convicted for eighteen years. You Know I. I did some of my research on the effects of those who are wrongfully convicted yes, and individuals who are wrongly convicted. Obviously we could talk for hours about what that does to an individual, so it doesn't surprise me. When exonerates and up committing crimes because of what they're dealing with right, but it's rare that they commit a violent crime. Right at right now. I don't know okay. That's fair. That's fair enough. Hey, you're the expert in this area. SO Steve With Kathleen Zellner and I would say that you know. She's going to give him the best shot that he's going to have at exoneration. If that's to be I, will just up with a couple of things she you look at how many wards and the recognition she's gotten. It's a long list. Makes you feel like Shit about your makes me feel very under accomplished. She's the only recognized trial attorney to in five multimillion dollar jury trials in under one year. What if that's correct one year and she was kind of blase about it like I saw something that she was Kinda like well. Everyone was ready to go to trial. I kinda just had to do it and that's how it happens. She's been named top ten attorneys. One of America's greatest lawyers top one hundred trial lawyers person of the year in two thousand, Fourteen by Chicago Lawyer Magazine, most influential women in the United States and And the list goes on and on Cathlene owner is Rockstar and I hear that she is a lovely person as well Emily Nestor met her in an airport. Did you know that no, I didn't are you kidding? Can you imagine being a true crime podcast and seeing Kathleen Zellner I? Mean I don't want to say this, but I would die. I mean my heart would stop I. Don't think it could contain the excitement, but. I mean in the end so usually. We get to the end and we do like our opinion. Our opinion here is like I'm sure Zell Kathleen Zoellner is inspirational to me. She gives me hope that justices possible, but even so it's it's so difficult and I i. Think Zellner has got a real tenacity. She's really special and I really hope that. Her Work Inspires other young attorneys to trailblazers with her and Kathleen. If you are listening, please call us if you ever come to new. York we'd love to treat you to dinner. Oh, please make our dreams come true Kathleen. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you enjoyed the episode. We'll see next time. Thanks, Amy, thank you. Meghan! Women Crime is written and hosted by Megan sacks and Amy Schlossberg. Our producer and editor is James Varga. Our music is composed by desert media. If you enjoy the show, even get access to add free episodes exclusive Ama's and other bonus content for small of contribution through Patriot to find out more visit patron dot com slash women incline. In Immune. Sources for today's episode include an article by Esquire magazine a Chicago Tribune article. Newsweek article, the dream, killer, documentary and a Los Angeles Times article.

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