This time, they even got the White House to respond. A White House petition requesting the pardon of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey has collected over 100,000 signatures and prompted a statement from the federal government.
Embarrassingly, the response is more of a civics lesson than an empowering show of democracy. Avery and Dassey were convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach, a state criminal offense. The president can only pardon federal crimes.
The official response from the White House reads, well, like an official response from the White House: “Thank you for signing a Change.org petition on the Teresa Halbach murder case, currently featured on the ‘Making a Murderer’ documentary series. We appreciate your interest in this case.” OK!
They try to let us down easy: “To best respond to your petition, we should go over what exactly presidential pardoning power entails… Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the [p]resident cannot pardon them. A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities.”
As CNN.com reports, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has said that he will not intervene in the case.