Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix's hit documentary series "Making a Murderer," has received support from hundreds of thousands of petitioners who want to see him exonerated and freed from prison after watching the show.
Avery spent 18 years in prison on a sexual assault conviction before new DNA evidence exonerated him in 2003. But just two years later, in 2005, he was arrested and accused of a separate crime — the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, ABC News reported
Many say the new Netflix documentary series makes it clear that Avery is innocent of the newest crime for which he is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Since the documentary premiered on Dec. 18, nearly 200,000 people have signed an online petition posted to Change.org calling for a presidential pardon, and nearly 20,000 have signed a WhiteHouse.org petition.
"Avery's unconstitutional mistreatment at the hands of corrupt local law enforcement is completely unacceptable and is an abomination of due process," reads the petition on Change.org
The documentary series has convinced many that Avery was framed for Halbach's murder by a vindictive county law enforcement agency, which he had targeted in a $36 million federal lawsuit related to his previous false conviction and imprisonment.
Halbach, a photographer on assignment for Auto Trader magazine, was last seen on Halloween 2005. She was scheduled to visit Avery's Auto Salvage near Mishicot, Wisconsin — her third stop of the day.
Her parents later reported her missing, and search volunteers claimed to have found Halbach's Toyota RAV4 at the salvage yard.
According to USA Today
, "On Nov. 10, a day after Avery was arrested, then-Calumet County Sheriff Jerry Pagel announced Halbach had been killed on the property and her body burned. The documentary alleges law enforcement and the court system mishandled the case and also questions whether evidence may have been planted to frame Avery."
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