"Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them," a White House statement reads.
WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – After achieving enough signatures to require an official response, the White House responded to a petition posted to WhiteHouse.gov Friday that calls for the pardon of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, the subjects of the Netflix docu-series “Making a Murderer,” by saying President Barack Obama can’t do anything to change the case.
“Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them,” the statement from the White House reads. “A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities. 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 petition signatories, numbering 129,911 at its close, believe that Avery and Dassey are innocent of the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach in Wisconsin, for which they were convicted and sentenced.
“Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series ‘Making a Murderer’, the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives,” the petition reads.
“There is clear evidence that the Manitowoc County sheriff’s department used improper methods to convict both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.”
The Department of Justice has previously directed signatories to address the governor or other authorities of the state where the two men were convicted.
Those protesting the conviction have created a petition directed a Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, but Walker previously said he will not grant pardons.