A Netflix documentary called “Making a Murderer” is blurring the line between entertainment and justice, says the Christian Science Monitor. Nearly 180,000 people have signed an online petition calling on President Obama to pardon Steven Avery, a 53-year-old Wisconsin outcast whom many believe was wrongfully convicted of the murder of a freelance photographer. Obama can’t issue such a pardon because the case is not a federal one. The petition’s author, Michael Seyedian of Colorado, was inspired to act after watching the documentary. It depicts a young, poor, uneducated man who was released in 2003 from 18 years in prison for a wrongful rape conviction only to be sentenced to life in prison a few years later for the death of Teresa Halbach, a photographer who visited the Avery family salvage yard to take photos of cars on Halloween and was never seen alive again.
The special prosecutor in Avery's case, Ken Kratz, says the documentary, which condensed hundreds of hours of footage into 10 one-hour episodes, omits the overwhelming amount of physical evidence that links Avery to the homicide. Kratz said the filmmakers, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, did not give him an opportunity to tell his side of the story. Since the release of the documentary in December, Kratz has been the target of dozens of threats and insults from people who are passionate about the injustice depicted in the series. “Suggestions that I shouldn’t even be walking around were offered … and really lots of really troubling pieces of correspondence,” Kratz said.