MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wisconsin (CNN)–
Fans of a popular Netflix docuseries are calling for the release of its subject.
Almost 200,000 people have signed online petitions seeking a pardon for Steven Avery, whose his case is the subject of “Making a Murderer.”
Petitions have been launched on Change.org and at the White House, asking for a presidential pardon for Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, who were convicted of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach.
“Steven Avery should be exonerated at once by presidential pardon, and the Manitowoc County officials complicit in his two false imprisonments should be held accountable to the highest extent of the U.S. criminal and civil justice systems,” the Change.org petition states.
Avery was released from prison in 2003 when DNA evidence exonerated him in a woman’s brutal attack. He had served 18 years for the crime. Two years later, in the midst of a civil suit he filed over his false conviction, Avery was arrested and convicted for Halbach’s murder.
Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos put together “Making a Murderer” over a decade. Former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz was the special prosecutor in the case against Avery and his nephew and has said the pair left out crucial evidence that pointed to Avery’s guilt — a charge the filmmakers have denied.
“One of the things I hope viewers who really engage with the series will take away from this is this question of, if they have lingering questions, are they comfortable living with that?” Ricciardi told The Daily Beast. “There are now two people who are behind bars, probably for life. Do our viewers feel satisfied with the process that led to those convictions?”