'Making a Murderer' Pardon Petitions for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey Gain Nearly 117,000 Signatures

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., wrote Michael Seyedian, who started the Change.org petition

Photo: Dan Powers/Post-Cresent/AP

Online petitions to pardon Making a Murderer subjects Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey have reached nearly 117,000 signatures.

Since launching in late December, over 17,000 people have signed the Whitehouse.gov petition along with almost 98,000 signing a similar petition from Change.org

The 10-part Netflix series Making a Murderer focuses on the case of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who was released from prison in 2003 after being exonerated for sexual assault. He was then arrested in 2005 and convicted for the murder of a young photographer, Teresa Halbach. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, is also in prison for being a party to murder, sexual assault and mutilating a corpse for the Halbach case.

Avery is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, but he still maintains his innocence. Dassey is serving life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years.

The White House petition seeks a presidential pardon for both Avery and Dassey due to the evidence presented in Making a Murderer. “The justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives,” the petition reads. If the petition reaches its goal of 100,000 signatures by Jan. 16, the White House will have to publicly respond. The Change.org petition, meanwhile, seeks to urge President Barack Obama to pardon Avery.

Former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz has since accused the filmmakers of omitting evidence from the series.

“You don’t want to muddy up a perfectly good conspiracy movie with what actually happened,” Kratz told PEOPLE. “And certainly not provide the audience with the evidence the jury considered to reject that claim.”

Filmaker Laura Ricciardi talked to The Wrap about his comments.

“Ken Kratz is entitled to his own opinion, but he’s not entitled to his own facts,” she said. “If he’d like to put together a documentary and try to discredit us in some way, he’s welcome to do that. We’re not going to be pulled into re-litigating the Haibach case with him.”

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