A monumental election win in the US state of Wisconsin has buoyed supporters of Making A Murderer subjects Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, who are already lobbying new governor Tony Evers to overturn their high-profile convictions.
Yesterday, Democratic challenger Evers defeated Republican Scott Walker in the state’s gubernatorial race, securing victory with a margin of just 1.2%.
That win has been hailed by Walker’s detractors, who have long railed against his tough stance on law and order – including his record of issuing exactly zero pardons since first being elected to the office in 2011.
Criminal defense attorney Jerome Buting, who represented Avery during the trial over the 2005 death of Teresa Halbach, took to Twitter after Evers’ win. He called for Avery’s conviction to be overturned, along with the conviction of his co-accused nephew Dassey.
Buting also asked Evers to launch an inquest into Manitowoc County, which Buting has long criticised for its handling of the controversial case.
Wisconsin: your Reform Era begins now.— Jerome Buting (@JButing) November 7, 2018
1. Dismiss lawsuit challenging ObamaCare,
2. Fix roads decaying under Walker;
3. Reduce prison population;
4. Investigate culture of corruption in Manitowoc County;
5. Open files from TH investigation.
6. Reverse SA & BD convictions.
Fans of the series are worked up over Evers’ election, too.
After Making A Murderer made international headlines in 2015, fans of the Netflix documentary series petitioned the White House to overturn the convictions of Avery and Dassey.
Despite amassing hundreds of thousands of signatures, that petition turned out to be fruitless. Both Avery and Dassey were convicted for crimes on a state level, not a federal level, meaning Walker held the power to pardon the pair.
It didn’t get much better for the pair’s advocates after that. Walker said he refused to watch Making A Murderer, adding that “just because a documentary on TV says something doesn’t mean that’s actually what the evidence shows.”
In response to the petition, a spokesperson for Walker said he wouldn’t be divvying up any pardons, and that anyone who felt wronged by the justice system could appeal their case in a higher court.
To date, all of those appeals have failed. The attempts of Avery’s post-conviction lawyer Kathleen Zellner to secure a new trial have been documented in the second season of the series.
For what it’s worth, Evers’ campaign platform included promises to institute criminal justice reform, including “increasing transparency, accountability and communication within policing.”
Whether that desire extends to the allegations made against Manitowoc County is yet to be seen.
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