‘Making a Murderer’: Petitions to Free Steven Avery Draw More Than 200K Signatures

Dan Powers/Post-Crescent/AP Photo

(ABC)– Fans of a popular Netflix show have signed a pair of petitions calling on President Obama to pardon the two men at the center of the murder mystery series.

More than 180,000 people have asked the president to pardon Steven Avery, the subject of “Making a Murderer,” which explores the circumstances around his arrest and how he was convicted for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.

Avery was convicted of killing Halbach in 2007, but spent 18 years behind bars for a separate sexual assault conviction before being exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003. He was in the process of suing Manitowoc (WI) County and some of its officials for $36 million for the wrongful conviction when he was charged in Halbach’s death in the same county. Avery’s lawyers claim their client was framed for Halbach’s murder because of his lawsuit.

“Avery’s unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process,” reads a petition on Change.org, which has garnered nearly 200,000 signatures.

A petition on the White House website has received almost 20,000 signatures. The White House has to respond to the petition if more than 100,000 people sign it by Jan. 19.

Petitioners are also asking Obama to pardon Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was separately convicted of sexually assaulting and helping his uncle kill Halbach.

“Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series ‘Making a Murderer,’ the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives,” the White House petition reads.

Petition signers say the Netflix series reveals a lack of evidence in the case against Avery and a wrongful conviction, but Ken Kratz, the attorney who prosecuted Avery, said the series omits key evidence in the case linking him to Halbach’s murder.

“You don’t want to muddy up a perfectly good conspiracy movie with what actually happened, and certainly not provide the audience with the evidence the jury considered to reject that claim,” Kratz told ABC News.

“Making a Murderer” began streaming on Netflix in December, receiving favorable reviews from critics, celebs and viewers. It has drawn comparisons to popular podcast series “Serial” and HBO’s “Jinx.”

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s