The Obama administration has responded tonight to a WhiteHouse.gov petition to pardon Steven Avery, the subject of the Netflix true crime documentary series Making a Murderer, which has pretty much become the national obsession since it was released last month.
Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey are currently in prison for the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach , although fans of the deep-diving series believe the local sheriff's department and prosecutor's office manufactured the case against Avery.
The White House's response to the petition, which was signed by close to 130,000 people so far, won't be what those fans are looking for.
The official response reads, in part, “Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them. A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities.”
The response goes on to explain the limits of the President’s pardoning power and cites Obama’s track record in attempting to reform the criminal justice system and reduce the federal prison population.
“While this case is out of the Administration’s purview, President Obama is committed to restoring the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system. That’s why he has granted 184 commutations total — more than the last five presidents combined — and has issued 66 pardons over his time in office,” the response notes.
That means it would be up to the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, to pardon Avery. He has not granted one since he's been in office.