Obama Can't Pardon Making a Murderer Inmate

Constitution bars him from freeing Wisc. inmate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2016 2:24 AM CST
In this March 13, 2007 photo, Steven Avery listens to testimony in the courtroom at the Calumet County Courthouse in Chilton, Wis.    (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

(Newser) – Despite two petitions that now have around 300,000 signatures, there is zero chance of President Obama pardoning Making a Murderer inmate Steven Avery—and it's not because the president has strong feelings about the Netflix series that casts doubt on his conviction. As Leon Neyfakh at Slate points out, Avery, who is serving a life sentence for murder in Wisconsin, is a state inmate, not a federal one, meaning Obama does not have the power to pardon him or commute his sentence. A Change.org petition calling for Avery's exoneration and the prosecution of Manitowoc County officials "complicit in his two false imprisonments" has been updated to include Scott Walker, though Vox notes that the Wisconsin governor has refused to issue or any reviews any pardons at all since taking office. (Read more Steven Avery stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results  |