Tens of thousands of people are petitioning for the president to pardon Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer, who is serving life in prison after a 2005 murder arrest.
As of Monday afternoon, more than 183,000 have signed a Change.org petition and more than 19,000 have signed a White House petition asking for a presidential pardon for Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey. If the government petition collects 100,000 signatures by January 16, then the White House has to respond publicly.
Making a Murderer explores how Avery was convicted for murder in Wisconsin. He had been released from prison in 2003 because DNA evidence had exonerated him in rape charges. Netflix released the popular 10-part series on Dec. 18.
The documentary series comes after other popular true crime stories, such as HBO’s The Jinx and the Serial podcast. But unlike Serial, in which Sarah Koenig couldn’t come to a conclusion about Adnan Syed’s guilt, and The Jinx, which the filmmakers ended with Robert Durst’s seeming confession, reviewers say Making a Murderer comes down on the side of Avery’s innocence. Prosecutor Ken Kratz says the series leaves out pertinent information that proves Avery is guilty.
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