Scott Walker Won't Pardon Steven Avery, A Fact The Wisconsin Governor Makes Pretty Clear
Days after the White House issued its official opinion on the case of Steven Avery, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made it clear a pardon is the last thing on his mind. On Monday, Walker's official Facebook account addressed Avery and the massive wave of support for the subject of Netflix's Making A Murderer. The post warned people from "jumping to conclusions" about the convicted killer who claims he's innocent for the death of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach.
"Viewers of the Netflix series on Steven Avery should read the unanimous opinion of the Court of Appeals before jumping to conclusions," the post said, along with a link to the three-judge panel's decision to uphold Avery's conviction. As of Monday, more than 400,000 people have signed a petition calling for Walker and President Obama to pardon Avery. Because Avery was convicted of a state crime, the decision falls solely upon the Wisconsin governor as to whether Avery should be allowed to walk free.
But if history is any indication, Walker has no plans to make that happen. Since becoming governor in 2010, Walker has never issued a pardon, not a single one, and it appears he doesn't intend to make Avery his first. Earlier this month, he told local station Fox 6, "Just because a documentary on TV says something doesn’t mean that's actually what the evidence shows," and said he would trust the justice system that put Avery behind bars.
Avery's story has sparked outrage among Netflix viewers who believe he did not receive a fair trial in Halbach's death, and the docuseries goes as far to suggest that Manitowoc County officials may have planted evidence to frame him. What made Avery's case particularly unusual was that before his 2007 conviction for Halbach's death, he served 18 years for a sexual assault he did not commit. New DNA evidence cleared him of that crime, and some viewers believe Avery has been wrongly convicted again.
Walker has largely remained out of the national spotlight since giving up his presidential bid in spectacular fashion, but Making A Murderer has dragged him back into the conversation (perhaps even more so than when he was in the running). With Walker standing firm, Avery will likely have to rely on his new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, who specializes in wrongful convictions, to secure him a new hearing.