A newly released Netflix documentary has become a national obsession and the hype is about to reach the president of the United States.
Two online petitions, asking President Barack Obama to pardon Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, who are the subject of a documentary that questions their guilt, have reached over 178,000 signatures.
The president, who was quick to respond to what he perceived were injustices in the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases, is holding his cards close to his vest on this one.
The 10-part documentary, titled “Making a Murderer,” focuses on Avery’s 2005 arrest and conviction for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, after he was released from prison two years earlier after being exonerated for a wrongful sexual assault conviction.
The same police investigated both crimes, and it’s alleged that Avery’s first conviction influenced the investigation of the Halbach murder, according to People magazine.
Dassey, Avery’s nephew, is also in prison for assisting in Halbach’s murder and sexual assault.
The White House petition currently has over 19,000 signatures, and reads:
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.
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.
A similar petition was started through Change.org, and has over 159,000 signatures. It reads:
There is a documentary series on Netflix called “Making a Murderer”. After viewing it, I am outraged with the injustices which have been allowed to compound and left unchecked in the case of Steven Avery of Manitowoc County in Wisconsin, U.S.A. Avery’s unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process.
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 U.S. criminal and civil justice systems.
Former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz accused the filmmakers of omitting crucial evidence from their documentary.
“You don’t want to muddy up a perfectly good conspiracy movie with what actually happened,” Kratz told People magazine. “And certainly not provide the audience with the evidence the jury considered to reject that claim.”
Filmmaker Laura Ricciardi shot back:
“Ken Kratz is entitled to his own opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts,” she told People’s The Wrap. “If he’d like to put together a documentary and try to discredit us in some way, he’s welcome to do that. We’re not going to be pulled into re-litigating the Haibach case with him.”
The president has yet to voice his opinion.
To get a better idea, watch the trailer for “Making a Murderer” via Netflix.
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