White House Responds to ‘Making a Murderer’ Petition

Netflix - Making a Murderer
Courtesy of Netflix

The White House has responded to a WhiteHouse.gov petition asking President Obama to pardon Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, the subjects of Netflix’s docuseries “Making a Murderer,” for their alleged involvement in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.

The answer may not be what fans of the series were hoping for, however.

The official response reads, in part, “Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them. A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities.”

The response goes on to explain the limits of the President’s pardoning power and cites Obama’s track record in attempting to reform the criminal justice system and reduce the federal prison population.

“While this case is out of the Administration’s purview, President Obama is committed to restoring the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system. That’s why he has granted 184 commutations total — more than the last five presidents combined — and has issued 66 pardons over his time in office,” the response notes.

The petition has reached 129,800 signatures to date, surpassing the required 100,000 that were needed to elicit a response from the White House before the January 16 deadline for review.

“Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey should be given a full pardon by President Obama for their wrongful conviction in the connection to the murder of Teresa Halbach,” the petition says. “Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series ‘Making a Murderer,’ the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives.”

A similar Change.org petition, addressed to President Obama and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, also calls for Avery’s release, and has amassed 346,227 supporters so far. The White House offered the same response on the Change.org petition.

Filmed over 10 years, “Making a Murderer” documents Avery’s troubled relationship with the law, after he was wrongfully convicted of rape in 1985 and released from prison 18 years later after DNA evidence exonerated him. Avery was then imprisoned for allegedly killing photographer Halbach in 2005 and is currently serving life in prison without possibility of parole. Dassey was also convicted for Halbach’s murder and is currently serving a life sentence; he will be eligible for parole in 2048. At the time of his arrest, Avery had a $36 million federal lawsuit pending against Manitowoc County, its former sheriff, Thomas Kocourek, and its former district attorney, Denis Vogel, leading some to speculate that the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department was attempting to frame Avery by tampering with evidence — a theory that Avery’s attorneys explored during his trial.

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  1. Other then the Suspect thankfully no one else was hurt, a lot of tourist claim to have witnessed it so it was a busier day.
    Carrying a 22 pistol in his hand pointing towards the ground while walking towards the checkpoint makes one wonder if he was trying to commit suicide.

  2. IT--two--IT says:

    INTEL RUN Hollywood and its ever more ‘challenged’ debasement ops.

  3. Bill says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how the narrative is now to get a “documentary” made told entirely from the point of view of the defense, then demand a pardon because of the (from the point of view of the defense) “miscarriage of justice.”

    That’s what the appeal process is for, not the “court of public opinion.”

    • Brad Miller says:

      Corruption and incompetence are rampant in our legal system. For financial reasons, the appeals process is far out of reach of the average citizen, and appellate courts frequently collude with lower court judges. Often, media coverage is the only way to ensure that justice is served.

      Check out The Thin Blue Line.

    • Wayne Klein says:

      Avery and his nephew would do precisely that If that was an option. Here’s the deal–when appeals are exhausted what other course does someone have than the court of public opinion. If you had seen the production, you would discover that evidence was tampered with, the police officer who was kown to hold a grudge and was being sued as part of Avery’s lawsuit read the license plate of the murdered woman and asked the dispatcher to confirm it was correct prior to her vehicle being discovered. He was reading the license plate from the car and asking for confirmation that it was the correct vehicle days before it was discovered. Sure every documentary has a point of view? How could it not? That doesn’t make the point of view less valid.

  4. gkn says:

    No doubt he would if he could. Why are people always addressing the wrong authorities?

  5. John Teeter X says:

    Border Agent Brian Terry died because of Obama, not to mention Benghazi where Obama and Clinton let our own ambassador die along with people disobeying orders to save innocent lives even when backup was called! But those Ruling Elites called for Stand down Orders. How does it make you feel when you go over seas? Like your own Government doesn’t want to protect you??? Well Illegal Aliens and Muslim Radicals are the new projected class! Besides killing Americans, MR’s love killing Gays! Just look at Europe where they’ve taken over! So the stupid Gay Gestapo should be worried too! Obama has sold the LGBT-Q Q-munity down the river! But they’re too stupid to know! How about a Petition for Obama to leave the White House PEACEABLY! Instead of acting like a Narcissist THIRD WORLD DICTATOR?!

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