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White House Responds To 'Making A Murderer' Steven Avery Petition... And It's Bad News

08/01/2016 13:44 | Updated 08 January 2016

The White House has responded to a petition calling for the release of Steven Avery, the focus of the hit Netflix series 'Making a Murderer'.

Over 355,942 people signed the Change.org online protest, asking for Barack Obama to pardon the convict for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

In a statement on the We The People site, the White House said the President couldn't free Avery.

steven avery

Steven Avery

"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 reads.

"In addition, the President's pardon power extends to convictions adjudicated in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and military court-martial proceedings. However, the President cannot pardon a state criminal offense."

The 10-part documentary details Steven Avery's release from jail after being wrongly convicted of a violent sexual assault, only to then be dubiously convicted of the murder.

His nephew, Dassey, confessed to assisting with the crime but the only evidence was a confession obtained when the then 16-year-old was interviewed without a lawyer or guardian.

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Meanwhile the only person who could allow the pair a reprieve from prison delivered some disappointing news for the convicts.

Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker, 48, vowed the 'Making A Murderer' subjects would not be released from prison, despite the vast number of signatures on the White House petition.

"Just because a documentary on TV says something doesn't mean that's actually what the evidence shows,” Walker told WQOW television on Tuesday.

"The bottom line is that there was a crime that was committed a decade ago.

"There is a system... by which individuals can petition the courts to get relief like others have done in the past that shows that someone might actually be innocent. But I am not going to override a system that is already put in place."

Avery was sent to prison in 1985 for sexual assault and attempted murder. DNA evidence later proved he was innocent of the crimes, and in 2003 his conviction was overturned.

Two years after his release and his filing of a $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County for wrongful conviction, he was again accused and later convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach.

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