The case of Steven Avery has captured the attention of millions, as the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer has turned his conviction for murder into a national conversation about potential police and/or prosecution corruption.
Hundreds of thousands of people signed a national petition for President Obama to issue Avery a federal pardon. However, the White House formally responded by saying that the President has no legal jurisdiction over something that is a state matter. Legally, that’s precisely true. Avery could only be pardoned by Wisconsin Governor, a Republican named Scott Walker.
Walker made a post on his official Facebook page yesterday, and it appears that Avery won’t be receiving any extra help the Governor’s Office. The short post reads as follows:
“Viewers of the Netflix series on Steven Avery should read the unanimous opinion of the Court of Appeals before jumping to conclusions:
Walker is basically pointing out that Avery and his legal team already attempted to appeal his conviction, and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals decided that there was no reason to either overturn the conviction or order a new trial. From a legal standpoint, this is correct decision. Avery cannot simply ask for a new trial with the same facts. His team would need to present a legitimate reason for doing so, like new evidence leading to a specific different killer or actual proof that police conspired to frame him (rather than just speculation).
Making a Murderer definitely casts a large amount of doubt on the entire investigation against Avery, but Governor Walker cannot legally order a new trial, which most people think would be the most fair outcome at this point. He can only pardon Avery completely, which is clearly a leap he is unwilling to make.