Newspaper article

Sorry, 'Making a Murderer' Fans: Scott Walker Isn't Going to Pardon Steven Avery

Newspaper article

Sorry, 'Making a Murderer' Fans: Scott Walker Isn't Going to Pardon Steven Avery

Article excerpt

It's been less than three weeks since Netflix premiered "Making A Murderer" -- the instant-hit, true-crime documentary series intimately detailing a murder case in rural Wisconsin -- and there's already a concerted effort to free the man some believe got a bum rap from the justice system.

Steven Avery is currently facing a life sentence for a 2007 murder conviction. During his trial, shown in detail in the 10- episode documentary series, Avery's lawyers argued that members of the Manitowoc County sheriff's department framed their client. Viewers seem to believe what the jury didn't: as of this writing, more than 257,000 people have signed a petition asking President Barack Obama and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to grant a full pardon for Steven Avery.

"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.," writes petition author Michael Seyedian. "Avery's unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process."

Unfortunately for fans of the show, the chances of this happening are just about zero.

As Slate and Vox point out, President Barack Obama doesn't even have the power to pardon Avery because he's a prisoner of the state of Wisconsin - not the federal corrections system, over which Obama would have this power.

Which leaves us with Walker.

Hypothetically, the former presidential candidate could indeed grant a pardon. According to the state's constitution, the executive has the legal ability to pardon a prisoner. But he won't.

"These events took place before Gov. Walker took office," says his spokewoman, Laurel Patrick, in a statement to MinnPost. "As you may know, early in his administration, Gov. Walker made the decision not to issue pardons. …

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