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Governor Scott Walker says he won’t pardon Steven Avery

Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach

Steven Avery and Teresa Halbach

MENOMONIE — Governor Scott Walker has now been asked about the Netflix docuseries “Making A Murderer” that is growing in popularity among folks in Wisconsin and across the country.

Petitions have been launched on Change.org and at the White House, asking for a presidential pardon for Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, who were convicted of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach.

As thousands call upon President Barack Obama, asking for Avery’s release, Governor Walker is actually the only person who could set Avery free. The president cannot pardon or release someone charged with a state offense.

The Netflix series “Making A Murderer,” released on December 18th, follows the Avery case for a decade.

The Manitowoc man spent 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, until DNA evidence exonerated him.

Two years later, Avery was back in court — on trial for the murder of a young photographer named Teresa Halbach.

The docuseries showcases Avery’s trial, and the trial for Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey, who was also charged in the case.

The Netflix series has led many to heed the charge for Avery’s (and Dassey’s) release.

Since this was a state trial, that could only come from Wisconsin’s governor.

Walker, who admitted he hasn’t seen the Netflix series, said Tuesday, January 5th he wouldn’t give Avery a pardon.

“Just because a documentary on TV says something doesn’t mean that’s actually what the evidence shows.The bottom line is that there was a crime that was committed a decade ago. There is a system in the judicial system by which individuals can petition the courts to get relief like others have done in the past that shows that someone might actually be innocent. But I am not going to override a system that is already put in place,” Walker said.

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are each serving life sentences in the death of Teresa Halbach — Avery without the possibility of parole.

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43 comments

    • Millie Skidmore

      Scott Walker,
      How dare you dismiss the opinion of 100,000 people not to mention the work and effort gone into this documentary to tell this story without so much as watching it and forming your own opinion. Are you going to tell us all that your state’s judicial system is infallible?? That the officers in this case are infalible???? One of the prosecuters was later found sexting the jurors in a trial he was a part of. These officers are absolutely capable of doing this for all the reasons stated in the documentary. This is complete and total BS. I am horrified by this.

    • KellyEAndrews

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  • jennifer

    The system says you can Pardon Steven and from what I watched and researched…the conclusion that Steven was framed was based off the way your peons working your system acted. Weeks for a take-over of a house…which means nothing was there, and the dramatic unprofessional dialog that the prosecutor described during a press conference. Unnecessary and Uneeded…unless of coarse your trying to frame someone in the public eye. Do the right thing Scottie, fix your system that you honor so much.

  • S

    We all knew he’s crooked a&& wasn’t going to pardon them. God will have the last word. I’m glad I didn’t vote for you. You’re scum just like Ken Kratz and the rest of the officers involved. LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Julia Simmons

    I think the big question is did police and prosecutors overstep their bounds and interfere in this case?
    I believe the documentary proves that.
    Even if you commit a crime, if the police tamper with evidence to make you look worse at trial, then you walk. You can’t be convicted without a fair trial and you can’t have a fair trial under those circumstances. I would rather take my chances living amongst criminals than live in a society where you can be jailed for a crime you did not commit.
    “That it is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer, is a Maxim that has been long and generally approved.” – Benjamin Franklin
    “It is more important that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished….” – John Adams
    Let’s not forget the principles that make us a fair and free society.

  • jessica

    I’ve watched this documentary and it makes me sick to my stomach! How can we put our faith in the hands of law enforcement when this is what happens? Governor walker is corrupt just like the rest of them. Steven avery and his nephew have lost their freedom. Is there nothing or no one out there that could help these two men or is that how powerful law enforcement really is? Just sad.

      • Justsomeone

        Do actually have anything to say, or are you just going to yell tin foil alert without explaining why? I am a very skeptical person, and I truly believe this trial was horrible and corruption was involved. The fact that Scott Walker won’t even entertain the idea that Steven was wronged says a lot about him as a person. I suspect that you have a just world, conservative bias.

  • Alex Davison

    The problem is that human beings are fallible, elected officials and police are no different. In fact, when oaths of office are taken and badges are donned, they are held to an even higher standard of integrity than the average man or woman must maintain. It is clear that an injustice has taken place, hopefully someone will be courageous and help set them free. I fear for our nation and each and every citizen that must endure the justice system as it is today. Why even have appellate courts and supreme courts if they won’t look at cases that truly warrant a closer look. All the while I feel for the grieving family of the victim, and wonder how they rest with the possibility of the true killer walking around freely.

  • Name

    The governor then went on to say that although he will not override a system that is already in place, he will allow prosecutors to override a system that’s in place regarding EDTA testing.

  • Cameron

    What about Andre Rand a.k.a Cropsey. He will be in prison until he is 93. Convicted on zero evidence other than eye witness testimony from over 20 years ago. Where’s the outrage there? Where are the petitions? He was convicted because he was a drifter with mental problems. Zero evidence. None.

  • C Wynes

    Avery is so obviously guilty that you couldn’t possibly say no reasonable jury could have convicted him, which is the only legal standard that would justify overturning the verdict based on the strength of the evidence. Otherwise, you’d have to demonstrate that the prosecutor concealed evidence, which they haven’t shown — if they had, there’d be a Brady violation and he would have won on appeal or in post-conviction habeas proceedings. We have a process, it worked, a monster is behind bars, good riddance.

    If they were slated to be executed, you might make a case for having the governor commission a new investigative panel, but with Avery in for life it’s up to Avery’s lawyers to use the processes that are already in place. All of you people wanting to free him are going to feel pretty stupid if he gets freed and then rapes/murders another girl, which is the likely outcome. People like him don’t change, and we should be glad he’s locked away for the rest of his miserable life.

    • J T

      Finally someone posted a smart comment. Avery is absolutely guilty of the gruesome murder of Teresa Halbach. The evidence against him is compelling. All the idiots who have signed petitions for his release are completely ignorant of the case. They are being swayed by an advocacy film that is completely one-sided. Avery belongs and needs to rot in prison. Justice was served for this poor young woman.

  • Lifelong Republican

    And to think I supported Governor Walker for President. I had so much respect for Governor Walker until today, but his refusal to even take the time to watch the documentary before making a decision tells me he is no better than the prosecutors and police officers who framed Mr. Avery.

    • Stephanie

      We should all boycott Wisconsin. What a corrupt state! I wouldn’t want to get speeding ticket, they would put me in jail for 3 years. Gov. Walker, do the right thing, prove your state isn’t corrupt by putting the real criminals behind bars….your judges, police officers, DA’s and justices.

  • marcusbledsoe

    Avery’s lawyers should have asked themselves who stood to gain or lose the most by framing these two innocent men.

    They should have worked harder to prove the conspiracy which would have proven Avery’s innocence.

    Judge Fox, Kratz, Lentz, Colburn, the DA and the judge on the 1st case as well as the county officials that would have been on the hook if Avery would have won the lawsuit against the county. If their lives had been put under a microscope I’m sure there would have been evidence of their corraboration and the conspiracy uncovered.

    These people are evil people.

  • Ana

    Did you even watch the documentary? As was already stated… all your points were clearly covered…in detail. Nonetheless, It is the opinion of many, who actually watched the documentary, that there is nothing obvious in this case, except a grossly fractured and perceived corrupt political and judicial system at the municipal, state and federal level. All of which appears to of simply no concern to the Governor of Wisconsin, which will probably not be much of a surprise to many. I do not live in Wisconsin, however I would certainly expect any Governor to be politically smarter in regards to timing and statement positioning on a case that has generated so much National and negative attention. Does WI not have a decent Chief of Staff or Political aids with any wits to help this Governor not make polarizing statements? How is it possible for a Governor of a state case with so much controversy to miss the blaring point of the public outcry centering around a state conviction, which is not about a Governor’s Pardon based on a documentary. The very judicial system that this Governor is going to “rely on” is the very system that is “in question” and at the center of public outcry plus a core controversy of the case. It just seems implausible that this is truly missed by the Governor,. The statements only make this Governor look as if he is making an attempt to feign ignorance and throw issue redirection so he can continue to be complacent, like so many others within his entrusted “system”, on possibly serious issues affecting the quality of justice administered and delivered to the people of his State.

  • Barb Walton Elias

    This is the reason you Walker will not serve another term, I for one will never vote for you ever again. You just dug your own grave, and I will stand back and be more than happy to watch as you lose the election
    .

  • Unicorns and rainbows

    To all the “I get my facts from Netflix” posters not one of you acknowledged this entire Avery timeline. Wrongly convicted the first time under them Democrat state attorney general Bronson La Follette. Then convicted here under former Democratic Governor and attorney General Jim Doyle and at the time current attorney general democrat Peg Lautenschlager. Not once in Avery’s checkered past was a Republican Governor or Attorney General serving, but now all you kool aid drinkers want Governor Walker to pardon this freak.

  • Lisa

    This is pretty scary… Imagine you go to prison for something that you didn’t do.. there is a ton of evidence that there was something very bad going on with law enforcement and more than reasonable doubt that you didnt do it and yet you are still sentenced. It is very scary to believe that that’s it.. you apeal and apeal and nothing.. this so called system put into place for this very reason is failing and there isn’t anything that even the people can do about it. What are you to do at that poi t. Spend the rest of your life I. Prison. What an awful system there is in place. Very scary to see the power abused..and none of the higher ups will do anything about it. Wow.

  • Tristan P

    Mr. Walker- You have the ability and authority to “pardon” for a reason…. You could be someone’s LAST hope they don’t die in prison? Why would you not at least review a case that was on so many of your constituent’s mind? If this case wouldn’t be considered for a review and a potential pardon then who would? Oh wait…. Let me guess… A huge donor. Never mind buddy. A pardon for Mr. Avery and Mr. Massey do nothing to help you or your next election. So let him rot I guess.

  • Di

    The entire nation is outraged at the extreme injustice that this boy and man have suffered from the state of Wisconsin. Shame on Wisconsin for railroading a slow learning kid and his formerly wrongly imprisoned uncle because this family wasn’t the right type. And now Kratz has his law license suspended and his illegal and dirtbag ways are out in the open. Wasn’t h the one saying the Avery family was nasty? Oops I guess he was talking about himself. The people of Wisconsin should demand justice because it is the moral thing to do. I pray Walker never runs for president. And I will never ever ever set foot in Wisconsin again.

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