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A petition started to free Steven Avery and his cousin, Brendan Dassey, the two focal points of popular Netflix series Making a Murderer, has reached more than 100,000 signatures.
Since that threshold has been crossed, the White House is required to issue a response, according to its We the People site.
The petition was started on Dec. 20, not long after the series about the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach premiered.
“Based on the evidence in the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives,” the petition reads. “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.”
In order to elicit a response from the White House, the petition was required to gain at least 100,000 signatures within 30 days. As of Wednesday morning, it had more than 114,000.
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 and Dassey were convicted of Halbach’s murder.
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.
Dassey’s lawyers argued his confession to law enforcement that he was involved in the murder was coerced.
Manitowoc County Sheriff Robert Hermann previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the information Netflix viewers got is skewed and important pieces of the picture were omitted from the documentary.
Another petition on Change.org, also calling for the release of Avery, has more than 309,000 signatures.
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