“Making a Murderer” convict Steven Avery’s crimes won’t be absolved by a pardon — not from the president and not from Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker.
As Business Insider previously reported, presidential pardons can only be applied to convictions handed down in federal courts. State convictions such as Avery’s can be pardoned by state governors, in this case Walker. But it’s clear that avenue is closed to Avery, too.
Walker has vowed not to issue pardons during his tenure.
“Early in his administration, Governor Walker made the decision not to issue pardons,” Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick Patrick told TwinCities.com. “Those who feel they have been wrongly convicted can seek to have their convictions overturned by a higher court.”
Patrick also said that Walker had not watched the Netflix true-crime documentary series and emphasised that the events of the 2005 crime and Avery’s 2007 trial occured before Walker took office in 2010.
Avery’s appeals to Wisconsin’s higher courts for a new trial have been rejected all the way up through the Wisconsin Supreme Court and he has exhausted his rights to a court-appointed attorney. As seen on “Making a Murderer,” Avery has requested the files for his case and is going it alone.
Without the chance of a pardon, Avery’s best chances lie in finding new evidence that hasn’t been presented in court yet, similar to the DNA evidence that led to his previous exoneration after serving 18 years in prison for the rape and assault of a female jogger. And there is always the possibility his case could go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Since Netflix released “Making a Murderer,” interest in Avery’s trial has exploded. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions asking Obama to pardon the convict (despite the fact that he legally can’t). And many of the players in the investigation and trial have been speaking to the press.
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