The world has become absolutely fascinated with Steven Avery, the man who says he has been wrongly imprisoned for the 2003 murder of Teresa Halbach and the subject of the new Netflix documentary series Making A Murderer. The show, which was released in full just two weeks ago, has already captured the attention of the nation and enraged social justice advocates who blame a corrupt criminal justice system for what they see as Avery's wrongful conviction. Tens of thousands of people are throwing their support behind the case, and several online petitions to free Steven Avery have been started online.
Making A Murderer follows the astonishing case of Avery, whom supporters say has been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned twice for separate crimes. In 1985, Avery was convicted for the rape and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and served 18 years in prison before being exonerated in 2003 by new DNA evidence. Then, just two years later, Avery and his 16-year-old nephew Brendan Dassey were arrested and charged with the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach.
Avery was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, and a decade later, fans of Making A Murderer are working through social media to free two men they believe were wrongly convicted. If you've watched the series and are looking to make a difference, you can add your name to one of these petitions.
The White House petition is asking for a presidential pardon for Avery and Dassey, and has amassed over 1,800 signatures since it was posted on Dec. 20. However, the Constitutional authority of the President to grant pardons only extends to federal crimes and Avery and Dassey were both convicted by the state of Wisconsin. Signing the petition can still help bring attention to the case because White House staff is obligated to publish an official response if the petition reaches 100,000 signatures.
This petition on the popular social media activism site is getting a lot more traction than the White House petition — over 37,000 people have signed in one week. Another petition to free Brendan Dassey has reached over 6,000 signatures.
This lesser-known website is hosting a Free Steven Avery petition, but it's already passed its goal of 1,000 signatures by more than 500. It's aimed at getting a reexamination of the case in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which may be Avery and Dassey's best chance of having their convictions overturned.
Making A Murderer presents a compelling case for Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey's innocence, and viewers have taken to social media to express their outrage over the docuseries' findings and troubling questions. If you are impassioned to make a difference, adding your name to one of these petitions can help bring awareness to Avery's case.