A petition spurred by a Netflix true crime documentary has gained enough signatures to require a response from the White House.
Making a Murderer charts the tumultuous life of Steven Avery, who was exonerated after being wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years for a rape he did not commit.
After getting out of jail in 2003 and suing the local sheriff department for its hand in the botched case, Avery again found himself the main suspect in a crime he said he did not commit: the murder of a young woman whose remains were found on his family’s property in Wisconsin.
Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also convicted of three charges stemming from the murder.
Although the show has been accused of bias towards Avery and his adamant defence team, the wildly popular series has convinced enough viewers to sign a petition demanding President Obama offer the now-incarcerated Avery a presidential pardon.
As of Thursday, the petition had gained 120,000 signatures – 20,000 more than required for an official White House response.
“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,” reads the petition.
“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.”
Despite clearly indicating the possibility Manitowoc County Police Department may have framed Avery, special prosecutor on the case Ken Kratz said Making a Murderer had omitted a large chunk of the prosecution’s evidence.
“I believe there to be 80 to 90 percent of the physical evidence, the forensic evidence, that ties Steven Avery to this murder never to have been presented in this documentary,” he recently told Fox.
Despite the petition’s success, reports say even a presidential pardon may not be able to save Avery, as his crime was against the state of Wisconsin and not the United States.
#MakingAMurderer I. Can’t. Stop. Watching. It’s crushing but utterly spellbinding.
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) December 21, 2015