With a cursory glance at the subject matter of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, one would be right with demanding that the justice system somehow fix itself, but Steven Avery’s problems go deeper than that — officials in Wisconsin have seemingly gone out of their way to make sure that Avery suffers for the domino effect he created when he ran his cousin off of the road.
There are mountains of issues compiled beneath the treatment of Avery, dating back to the handling of his case in 1985 that displayed a mismanagement of the sheriff’s office — purposely — that allowed a sexual deviant to go free and commit more crimes before DNA evidence exonerated Avery. There’s been an outcry of justice for Avery, who was subsequently locked away for another crime, this time murder, as he was attempting to sue the officials that wrongly put him in prison for 18 years. In the aftermath of Netflix’s original series, the masses gathered to sign a petition that reached the office of the White House, but alas, it seems the President can do nothing for Avery. An official response from the White House says:
Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them. 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. That’s why he has granted 184 commutations total — more than the last five presidents combined — and has issued 66 pardons over his time in office.