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Avery's attorney wants brain fingerprint test included in new evidence

Steven Avery (WLUK file image)

MANITOWOC (WLUK) -- As part of a post-conviction motion filed Wednesday, Steven Avery's attorney is asking for a brain fingerprint test to be allowed as evidence.

Seattle neuroscientist Lawrence Farwell is the inventor of brain fingerprinting. It's been used by the FBI, CIA, and US Navy.

“Brain fingerprinting is a scientific technique for detecting concealed information stored in the brain by measuring brainwaves,” said Farwell.

During the test, information is presented on a computer screen. The brain's response to the information is then measured.

“We can tell what a person knows or does not know,” said Farwell. “So, we can test if a person knows the details about a murder that would be known only to the perpetrator and investigators.”

Farwell says the difficulty in using brain fingerprinting for someone convicted of a crime, like Avery, is they learned most of the crime's evidence during trial.

“We need to find new information,” said Farwell.

In the new motion, Avery's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, states new evidence, bloodstain analysis, was used in a brain fingerprint test of Avery. The motion states bloodstains show Teresa Halbach was attacked behind her car and the cargo door was open when she was attacked.

Zellner says that information was never shared with Avery before his test.

The determination computed by the brain fingerprinting system shows that information was absent from Avery's brain with a statistical confidence of 99.9 percent.

“There is no such thing as 100 percent in science, so we say over 99 percent accurate or less than one percent error rate,” said Farwell.

Farwell says no one has ever beat a brain fingerprint test. In fact, he is offering $100,000 to anyone that can.

There isn't a lot of precedence for using brain fingerprinting in court. It's only been used in one murder case. That was a 2001 Iowa case, where the man convicted of the crime was eventually exonerated after serving 25 years in prison.

A judge will decide if the testing, or any part of Avery’s new motion, will be allowed to be heard.

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