Eve Simmons | Contributing Writer | Monday, 4 January 2016

Over 150,000 People Sign Petitions Calling For Making A Murderer\\\'s Steven Avery To Be Released

Over 150,000 People Sign Petitions Calling For Making A Murderer's Steven Avery To Be Released

The Debrief: Two separate petitions are calling for the pardon of the Making A Murderer protagonist

Did you spend 90% of your christmas with arse glued to the sofa, unhealthily obsessed with the latest Netflix original masterpiece, Making a Murderer? Well, I did. Why? Not only is the series a fascinating story of injustice within the U.S criminal justice system, but the ‘murderer’ in question is a real-life prisoner, currently serving a life sentence at Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution. 

Just two weeks after the documentary premiered on Netflix, two online petitions have been created, demanding the pardon of Making a Murderer subject, Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey. More than 17,000 people have signed a petition hosted on the official White House petition website and a similar Change.org version has racked up almost 98,000.  

Netflix viewers are campaigning for both men’s innocence after watching the series which tells the story of how Steven Avery was wrongly imprisoned for sexual assault in 2003, before being arrested again in 2005 for the murder of a young photographer. Steven’s nephew, Brendan, was convicted of being party to the murder and is also serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 40 years. 

After spending 18 years in prison after being wrongly accused of sexual assault, Mr Avery pursued a $36 million lawsuit against the police. Two years after his release and mid law-suit, he was charged with the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. Avery maintains his innocence, saying: 'When you know you’re innocent, you will keep on going. The truth always comes out sooner or later.'

The White House Petition argues that the U.S justice system has failed both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey and alleges that Manitowoc County police used “improper methods” to ensure both men were convicted. The petition, which currently stands at a whopping 17,000 signatures, must reach 80,000 before White House staff will take action. As for the change.org petition, which has reached more than 150,000 signatures, argues for the ‘unconstitutional mistreatment’ of the prisoners. The campaigners need to reach 200,000 signatures in order for POTUS (President Obama, obvs) to get in on the action. 

Head over to Netflix to watch the series to decide your own verdict. Be warned: television addiction is more than likely.

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Tags: Going viral, Making A Murderer, Steve Avery