Online petitions demanding the pardon of “Making a Murderer” subjects Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey have received nearly 90,000 signatures as the Netflix series reaches feverish popularity.
A formal petition to the White House and a campaign at Change.org appeal directly to President Obama to pardon Avery and Dassey, in light of evidence that suggests wrongful convictions in the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.
Since launching in late December, the Whitehouse.gov petition has gathered almost 11,500 signatures, on top of the almost 71,000 signatures on the Change.org petition. The former is more consequential in getting on the President’s desk, but it still needs almost 89,000 signatures before Jan. 19 for formal consideration.
The series is a harrowing look at Avery’s long, troubled history with law enforcement in his native Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. After DNA evidence exonerated Avery for a rape charge that saw him serve 18 years in prison, he was again convicted in the 2005 killing of “Auto Trader” freelancer Halbach.
Dassey, Avery’s nephew, was also convicted for his involvement in the same case.
“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.,” wrote Michael Seyedian, who started the Change.org petition.
“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.”
All ten episodes of “Making a Murderer” are currently available to stream on Netflix.