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170,000 people have signed petitions to pardon Making A Murderer's Steven Avery

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Over 170,000 signatures have been collected by two online petitions demanding that President Obama offer a full presidential pardon to Steven Avery.

Should your response to the above statement form little more than "Steven who?", then you've yet to encounter Netflix's latest binge-worthy series, Making a Murderer.

The 10-part documentary follows the literal trials and tribulations of Steven Avery - a Wisconsin man wrongly convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985.

DNA evidence later proved his innocence, resulting in his release from 2003. Two years later, after filing a $36 million (£24.4 million) lawsuit against Manitowoc County for his wrongful conviction, Avery was then accused and convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach, a photographer who went missing in the area around the Avery family scrap yard - a crime that Avery's defence team believes was pinned on Steven Avery by the Manitowoc County police.

After airing on Netflix on 18 December, the documentary series was met with resounding praise - sweeping Twitter and Facebook in a manner similar to that of the initial success of the podcast Serial.

Two weeks after its initial digital premiere, petitions for Avery's full pardon arrived on the official White House petition website (currently sporting 19,124 signatures) and Change.org (with a staggering 158,235 signatures).

However, the Netflix documentary has already come under criticism for its apparent lack of balance: former district attorney Ken Kratz, who acted as prosecutor in Avery trial, told Fox 11 News that as much as "80 to 90 per cent of the physical evidence, the forensic evidence, that ties Steven Avery to this murder never to have been presented in this documentary".

To find out what all the fuss is about, best cancel those worthy intentions of joining the gym and resume your position on the sofa.

[Via: The Independent]

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