Released on Netflix in December 2015, the documentary Making a Murderer became a major cultural phenomenon as viewers around the world got hooked on the show and became invested in the case of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, who were tried and convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach in rural Wisconsin. The show’s meticulous details of the case and “whodunit” approach to the case captivated audiences. The show currently holds a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, proving how well-recieved it was by Netflix users everywhere. In July 2016, it was announced that Making a Murderer will return to Netflix with new episodes that are already in production. The upcoming installments will follow-up with Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey as their legal teams continue to challenge their convictions. Indeed, a lot has happened in the past 12 months since the show hit Netflix, and there will be plenty of new ground to cover in the new episodes. Here are 10 significant developments in the case over the past year.
10. Petition for a Pardon Sent to the White House
Fans of Making a Murderer who became convinced that both Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey were innocent, and were being railroaded by police, banded together last December to send a petition to the White House requesting a presidential pardon of the two convicted killers. The petition, which circulated shortly after the series was released on Netflix, managed to quickly get the 100,000 signatures that are required for the petition to be eligible for an official White House review. However, the White House quickly dashed the hopes of fans concerning a presidential pardon, issuing a statement that read: “A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities. While this case is out of the Administration’s purview, President Obama is committed to restoring the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system.” Political pardons at any level of government are extremely rare.