Despite growing calls nationally for intervention on behalf of convicted murderer Steven Avery, a spokeswoman for Governor Scott Walker says a pardon is not likely to come from his office.
Walker has long taken a stance of not issuing pardons, arguing that those who feel they were wrongly convicted of a crime have the ability to appeal that decision to a higher court. In a statement released Tuesday, press secretary Laurel Patrick stressed that remains the case, also noting that the events surrounding Avery’s conviction took place years before Walker was in office.
Avery’s conviction in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County is drawing new attention thanks to a Netflix documentary that premiered last month. The series, titled “Making a Murderer,” chronicles Avery’s wrongful conviction and exoneration for a rape, and then his trial and conviction for the murder of Halbach. It’s sparked a backlash on social media because of questions it raises about how the investigation was handled and presents theories that Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey may have been framed for the crime.
As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 280,000 people had signed on to a change.org petition calling for Walker or President Barack Obama to issue a pardon exonerating Avery. Since he was convicted in a state court, such a pardon would have to come from the governor.