Launched online at We the People on Dec. 20 and currently hovering around 130,000 signatures, the petition called for a full pardon of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, in connection to the murder in Wisconsin of photographer Teresa Halbach.
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"This clemency authority empowers the president to exercise leniency towards persons who have committed federal crimes. Under the constitution, only federal criminal convictions, such as those adjudicated in the United States District Courts, may be pardoned by the president," the statement read.
"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."
A decade in the works, the series by filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos suggests Wisconsin authorities were biased and planted evidence against Avery, a man exonerated by DNA evidence after serving 18 years in prison there for a rape conviction before being sent back to jail just two years later for Halbach's murder.
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