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White House denies 'Making a Murderer' petition

Posted at 9:36 AM, Jan 08, 2016

The White House has denied a "We The People" petition to pardon Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. 

The petition was sparked by the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" detailing the investigation and trial of the  Manitowoc, Wisconsin man.

According to the explanation posted on, the "the President cannot pardon a state criminal offense."

"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 pardon in the case would need to be issued at the state level, however Gov. Scott Walker reiterated Thursday that he would not issue a pardon in the Avery case.

Avery had been wrongly convicted of a 1985 rape and served 18 years in prison. After being freed, he had a $36 million lawsuit pending against public officials when photographer Teresa Halbach disappeared on Halloween 2005 following a visit to the Avery family salvage yard to take pictures of a minivan.

Halbach's bones and belongings were found burned near Avery's trailer. Avery and Dassey were eventually convicted and sentenced to life terms, but only Dassey is eligible for parole — in 2048.