"Making A Murderer" has quickly become one of Netflix's most-buzzed about documentaries, and now viewers are launching petitions asking for Steven Avery’s pardon. The 10-part series tells the story of Avery, a Wisconsin man who spent 18 years in prison for a sexual assault crime he didn't commit.
Avery was eventually exonerated and released, but was sent back to prison after he was convicted of murdering photographer Theresa Halbach. Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are currently serving life sentences in a Wisconsin prison.
The Netflix series, from filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, has caused outrage largely over the way Manitowoc County police treated Avery.
Throughout Season 1, Avery's attorneys accused local law enforcement of framing the now 53-year-old man for Halbach's murder. The series also raises the question of whether police purposefully planted or tampered with evidence found on Avery's property, and coerced Dassey into confessing to the crime.
— Making A Murderer (@MakingAMurderer) January 1, 2016
Many people believe Avery is innocent and was once again wrongfully accused of a crime he didn’t commit. As a result, two separate petitions have launched asking President Obama to pardon the Wisconsin man and his nephew. So far, both petitions have a total of over 180,000 supporters.
"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,” a Whitehouse.org petition reads. “Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series ‘Making A Murderer,’ the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives.”
As of Monday afternoon, the petition had close to 20,000 signatures. According to NBC Chicago, if the government petition reaches 100,000 signatures by Jan. 16 the White House has to publicly respond.
Viewers also launched a Change.org petition, which so far has over 178,000 supporters.
“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,” it reads. “Avery’s unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is abomination of due process.”
As previously reported, former Wisconsin state prosecutor Ken Kratz responded to the backlash the local police department has received, saying the Netflix docu-series doesn’t tell the whole story and leaves out crucial information.
“You don’t want to muddy up a perfectly good conspiracy movie with what actually happened, and certainly not provide the audience with the evidence the jury considered to reject that claim,” he told People magazine.
"Making A Murderer" can be viewed on Netflix.