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Two separate petitions stemming from the new Netflix series Making a Murderer have gained more than 200,000 signatures combined.
One of the petitions, posted on Change.org, calls for Steve Avery, the main subject of the Netflix real-crime series, to be set free.
Avery served 18 years in prison for a sexual assault conviction out of Manitowoc County, Wis., for which he was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003. Then in 2005, Avery was convicted of the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach.
Avery’s lawyers argued their client was framed by county law enforcement for the Halbach murder. Avery’s lawyers did not accuse law enforcement of killing Halbach, but argued that officers believed so strongly that he carried out the slaying, they planted evidence in order to ensure a conviction.
The Change.org petition, started by Michael Seyedian of Arvada, Colo., has more than 187,920 signatures as of Monday morning.
“After viewing [Making a Murderer], 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.,” Seyedian states on the petition. “Avery’s unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process.”
Another petition posted on the official White House website calls for President Obama to order the release of Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who was also convicted for the same murder. Dassey’s lawyers argued his confession to law enforcement that he committed the crime was coerced.
That petition has more than 19,450 signatures.
“Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives,” according to the White House petition. “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.”
Manitowoc County Sheriff Robert Hermann told The Hollywood Reporter that the information viewers got is skewed and important pieces of the picture were omitted from the documentary.
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