AP and NetflixNetflix’s true-crime documentary “Making a Murderer” has outraged, shocked, and saddened thousands of viewers.
So much so that many have signed online petitions on Change.org as well as the White House official petition website We the People demanding Obama issue a pardon for the film’s main subjects, Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.
At the time of this post, over 340,000 people had signed the Free Steven Avery petition on Change.org while nearly 130,000 people had signed the similar We the People petition.
And now, the White House has officially responded now that the We the People petition has crossed 100,000 signatures (first spotted on Reddit).
“The US Constitution grants the power of clemency to the President,” the We the People email says to signees. “This clemency authority empowers the President to exercise leniency towards persons who have committed federal crimes.”
In other words, because Avery and Dassey are state prisoners who have not committed federal crimes, President Obama does not have the authority to pardon the two men.
“A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities,” the email explains.
The 10-part docuseries has gained national attention for focusing its lens on Manitowoc County in Wisconsin and the investigation, trial, and aftermath of the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. Filled with seemingly corrupt authority figures, suspicious evidence, and arguably a coerced confession from a learning-impaired 16-year-old, the new addition to Netflix is a must-watch.
To see the entire White House response, see the email below.