Petition to Pardon Steven Avery Nears 200,000 Signatures

Many viewers of 'Making a Murderer' believe Avery was wrongly convicted.
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Steven Avery has gained wide support since appearing in the Netflix series 'Making a Murderer.'

Steven Avery has gained wide support since appearing in the Netflix series 'Making a Murderer.'

A combined total of over 180,000 people and counting have signed petitions calling for the pardon of Steven Avery, the subject of the popular Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer.

Petitions on Change.org and at the official petition page of the White House have received nearly 170,000 and over 19,000 signatures respectively since they were launched about two weeks ago.

Avery, along with his then-teenage cousin Brendan Dassey, was convicted of the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach; Avery was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His case was of particular interest as he had been falsely imprisoned for a sexual assault decades earlier, where he served for 18 years until he was exonerated by new DNA evidence. Avery had recently filed a $36 million dollar lawsuit against Manitowoc County for the mishandling of the assault case when he was arrested for Halbach's murder. After his arrest, he settled for around $400,000.

Michael Seydian of Colorado launched the Change.org petition. "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," he wrote. "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."

The White House petition will need to reach 100,000 signatures before it's considered by the Oval Office. The prosecutor in Avery and Dassey's murder trial, Ken Kratz, told Maxim last week that he felt Making a Murderer was strongly biased in support of the defense and accused the filmmakers of leaving out mention of critical evidence that he believes helped the jury convict Avery, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence.