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Wisconsin governor rejects 'Making a Murderer' pardon bid

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Posted at 10:02 AM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 11:02:43-05

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Friday he will not consider a pardon request from a man convicted of rape and murder when he was a teenager whose story was documented in the 2015 Netflix series “Making a Murderer.”

The request from Brendan Dassey filed in October does not meet the criteria for a pardon consideration because he has not completed his prison sentence and he is a required to register as a sex offender, the letter from Evers' pardons board released by the governor's office said.

Advocates have been clamoring for Dassey to be freed but ran out of options in the courts after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his latest appeal.

Evers has also made it a policy not to consider requests to commute prison sentences. His letter to Dassey pointed out that position as well. No Wisconsin governor since Tommy Thompson, who left office in 2001, has issued a prison commutation.

Dassey, now 30, was 16 years old when he confessed to Wisconsin authorities that he had joined his uncle, Steve Avery, in the 2005 rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, before burning her body in a bonfire.

Dassey submitted a handwritten note to Evers asking for the pardon.

“I am writing to ask for a pardon because I am innocent and want to go home,” Dassey wrote. Dassey listed things he enjoys including Pokemon and hamburgers and drew a pair of hearts with the word “hugs” in one and “love” in the other.

Dassey’s attorney Laura Nirider did not immediately return messages seeking comment.