January 4, 2015
Making A Murderer Petition
Two online petitions demanding the pardon of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, the subjects of the new Netflix series Making a Murderer, have received more than 150,000 signatures.
The 10-episode documentary revolving around Avery and Dassey’s murder trial for a 25-year-old woman’s murder in Manitowoc, Wisconsin has become a sensation over the holidays.
Both petitions have directly appealed to President Obama to pardon the two men, who were both convicted in March 2007 in the death of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach.
A formal petition to the White House, which has received more than 18,000 signatures, writes that evidence on the Netflix series proves 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’, the petition continues.
‘This is a black mark on the justice system as a whole, and should be recognized as much, while also giving these men the ability to live as normal a life as possible.’
The Change.org petition, which has received more than 133,000 signatures, was created by a Colorado resident who said he was ‘outraged’ after viewing the documentary.
MAKING A MURDERER PETITION
‘Avery’s unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement officers is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process,’ Michael Seyedian Arvada writes.
‘Steven Avery should be exonerated at once by presidential pardon, and the Manitowoc County officials complicit in his two false imprisonments should be held accountable to the highest extent of the US criminal justice system.
Avery had been in prison for 18 years when DNA evidence exonerated him of a sexual assault conviction in 1985.
He was released in 2003 and, two years later, sought $36m from Manitowoc County for the wrongful conviction.
Less than a month after the federal lawsuit was filed, Avery was charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the murder of Halbach.
Avery’s defense argued that Manitowoc officers who were in the middle of being deposed in his lawsuit were also involved in the gathering of evidence for the Halbach murder and may have framed him.
Brendan Dassey, Avery’s 16-year-old nephew, then confessed to sexually assaulting Halbach and cutting her throat on his uncle’s orders. He later said the confession was coerced.
None of Halbach’s DNA was ever discovered inside of Avery’s home, where the prosecution claimed she was raped and shot in the head.
Avery was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Dassey was also given a life sentence but has a chance for early release in 2048.
Netflix’s Making a Murderer became an instant hit when it was released December 18.
It received glowing reviews from critics and celebrities alike, who took to Twitter to share the number of hours they had binged and to beg their followers to watch.
‘I can’t stop watching,’ wrote Mandy Moore. ‘It’s crushing but utterly spellbinding.’
‘Never mind an Emmy or an Oscar…Making a Murderer deserves a Nobel Prize,’ tweeted Ricky Gervais.
‘The greatest documentary I have ever seen.’