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Petition asks Obama to pardon Steven Avery

Posted: 11:01 AM, Dec 30, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-30 12:01:38-05
There is a new WhiteHouse.gov petition trying to get President Obama to pardon Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey.
 
The two Manitowoc County men, who are the subject of a new documentary series called "Making a Murderer" on Netflix, were convicted in the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach. 
 
The story centers around Avery, who was convicted of sexual assault in 1985 and served 18 years in prison. He was later exonerated and released in 2003 thanks to DNA testing. Avery was then accused and convicted for Hallbach's murder in 2005. 
 
Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were sentenced to life in prison.
 
Avery maintains his innocence and Dassey later claimed this confession was false and coerced by authorities.
 
"Making a Murder" focuses on the complications surrounding the case, and offers there may be more to the case than originally thought.
 
The petition's creators said, based on the evidence in the series, "the justice system embarrassingly failed both men, completely ruining their entire lives" and "there is clear evidence that the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department used improper methods to convict them."
 
On Sunday, a Twitter user claiming to be a part of the hacking group Anonymous said he will be releasing photographs and phone records that support the case of Avery and Dassey. Anonymous is a loose collection of vigilante hackers that claim to work for justice in their work. 
 
Since Dec. 20, the petition has received 2,800 signatures. It needs to get 100,000 by Jan. 19.
 
After the series premiered on Dec. 18, the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Office said they have felt the backlash. 
 
"I call it a movie, not a documentary because it doesn't share all the facts," said Manitowoc County Sheriff Robert Hermann. "We've been receiving a lot of e-mails and phone calls that are very negative, somewhat hate e-mails I guess you would call them."