Petition to free ‘Making a Murderer’ subject Steven Avery gets more than 100,000 signatures

Can a Netflix doc bring real-life justice?

 

Audra Schroeder

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Published Jan 3, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 10:21 am CDT

Netflix‘s wildly popular documentary Making a Murderer has turned the Internet into obsessive detectives, as we collectively try to unravel theories and overlooked details. It’s also made viewers push for real-life justice. 

Two petitions to free Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, the two men convicted in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, have been circulating since late December, one from Whitehouse.gov and one from Change.org. To get an official response from the White House, the petition to pardon Avery and Dassey would need to reach 100,000 signatures by Jan. 19. As of Sunday afternoon, it has more than 18,000. It states: 

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.

This is a black mark on the justice system as a whole, and should be recognized as such, while also giving these men the ability to live as normal a life as possible.

The Change.org petition to free Avery, however, has more than 110,000 signatures. 

Making a Murderer explores the two convictions of Avery, a Wisconsin man who was jailed for the 1985 rape of Penny Beerntsen, then released in 2003, when DNA evidence proved he was a wrongfully convicted. Avery was then arrested once again for the murder of Halbach in 2005, and the doc shows how he and his then 16-year-old nephew Brendan were made into the main suspects by a broken, corrupt justice system.  

The prosector in the 2005 case, Ken Kratz, who took quite a beating on Yelp recently, has claimed filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi left out key evidence that pointed to Avery’s guilt, but they stood by their work. 

Fan of the podcast Serial, which explored the murder of Hae Min Lee, also petitioned to get Adnan Syed, the man convicted of the murder, a fair trial. In November, the case was reopened

Photo via Netflix 

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*First Published: Jan 3, 2016, 6:57 pm CST