White House: Obama can’t pardon ‘Making a Murderer’ convicts

This image released by Netflix shows Steven Avery, right, in the Netflix original documentary series "Making A Murderer." An online petition has collected hundreds of thousands of digital signatures seeking a pardon for a pair of convicted killers-turned-social media sensations based on the Netflix documentary series that cast doubt on the legal process. (Netflix via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 says under the Constitution, the president can’t pardon Avery and Dassey because they were convicted of state crimes, not federal crimes.

But the White House is using the petition to promote Obama’s support for a criminal justice overhaul, one of Obama’s top legislative priorities for his final year.

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