White House responds to ‘Making a Murderer’ petition

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WASHINGTON — Armchair detectives hoping for a different ending for two convicts featured in “Making a Murderer” will have to look beyond the president for help.

An online White House petition urging President Barack Obama to pardon Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey has nearly 130,000 signatures, assuring an official response. Avery and Dassey are serving time for a 2005 murder, but the petition-signers say the men were wrongfully convicted. The case has attracted national attention from the hit Netflix documentary series.

The White House responded to the petition Thursday, saying the President cannot pardon Avery nor Dassey because they were not convicted of a federal crime but a state crime.

“In addition, the President’s pardon power extends to convictions adjudicated in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and military court-martial proceedings. However, the President cannot pardon a state criminal offense” the response said.

The petition was created on Dec. 20, just a few days after the mini series premiered on Netflix.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.