Since the debut of Netflix’s 10-part documentary series Making a Murderer, tens of thousands have contributed signatures to online petitions calling for the pardon of Steven Avery. More than 100,000 people have signed a Change.org petition asking to free Avery, while 18,000 have signed a government petition asking the Obama Administration to grant full presidential pardon to both Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey.
According to Time, if the White House petition collects 100,000 signatures by January 16, the administration has to respond publicly. The petition reads, “Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer”, the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives. There is clear evidence that the Manitowoc County sheriff’s department used improper methods to convict both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. This is a black mark on the justice system as a whole, and should be recognized as such, while also giving these men the ability to live as normal a life as possible.”
In December, Netflix released the series, which tells the story of Steven Avery of of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who was exonerated in 2003 by DNA evidence after serving 18 years for rape. Two years later, he was sentenced to life for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery maintains his innocence. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted for being a party to first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilating a corpse.
Ken Kratz, the prosecutor in the murder trial, recently told Vocativ that the show has made him look like a villain. He describes Making a Murderer as “not a documentary at all, but rather a defense-generated advocacy piece.” Since the show’s release, Kratz’s private law firm has been attacked by viewers on Yelp. “The people who have vilified me have not taken the time to find out the evidence they weren’t spoon fed,” he said.
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Image via YouTube screenshot/Netflix.