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Making a Murderer's Dassey Gets Governor's Pardon Answer

That would be a no from Wisconsin's Tony Evers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2019 1:08 PM CST
In this April 16, 2007, file photo, Brendan Dassey appears in court in Manitowoc, Wis.   (Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent, Pool, File)

(Newser) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Friday he won't consider a pardon request from a man convicted of rape and murder when he was a teenager whose story was documented in the Netflix series Making a Murderer. The request from Brendan Dassey doesn't meet the criteria for a pardon consideration because he hasn't completed his prison sentence and because he's required to register as a sex offender, the letter from Evers' pardons board released by the governor's office said. Advocates have been clamoring for Dassey to be freed but ran out of options in the courts after the US Supreme Court refused to hear his latest appeal, per the AP. Evers has also made it a policy not to consider requests to commute prison sentences, which he noted in his letter. No Wisconsin governor since Tommy Thompson, who left office in 2001, has issued a prison commutation.

Dassey, now 30, was 16 when he confessed to authorities that he'd joined his uncle, Steven Avery, in the 2005 rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, before burning her body in a bonfire. Dassey submitted a handwritten note to Evers asking for the pardon. "I am writing to ask for a pardon because I am innocent and want to go home," Dassey wrote, listing things he enjoys, including Pokemon and hamburgers. The pardon request argued that Dassey was the victim of a "uniquely and profoundly flawed legal process," noting that seeking clemency from the governor is "one of the last remaining legal options" available. Dassey's attorneys say he's intellectually impaired and that he was manipulated by cops into accepting their story of how Halbach's murder happened. Avery and Dassey are both serving life sentences.

(Read more Making a Murderer stories.)

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