By Abigail Bailey
While I published as a comment under another thread here on Salisbury News, I wanted to republish it to clarify why a pardon would not be feasible for Avery and Dassey’s cases.
The long short of it is, Ken Katz (the special prosecutor for Calumet County) publicized the investigation during its infancy. He ruled out any other 'potentials' before other suspects could even be interviewed or checked out. He participated in extreme posturing by stating before a newscast, "If you are under the age of 16, please do not watch this broadcast..." (This tactic wasn't even done during the Simpson/Brown-Simpson case and that investigation/trial was highly publicized due to Simpson's celebrated status in American culture.) By doing this, Katz and investigators eradicated any presumption of innocence until proven guilty, which is Avery and Dassey’s Constitution Right.
Second, Manitowoc County should not have been involved in any way in the investigation because Avery was suing them for $36M in a wrongful prosecution suit. This is a conflict of interest and should never be allowed in any criminal investigation. Period. The public was assured they were not involved, yet the documentary clearly shows this to be false. The thin blue line was ever-present here and there were 36-million reasons along with saving face to make sure Avery was convicted of a violent crime.
Third, regardless of the cat incident as a teenager - which is disturbing but not a sole indicator of future violence - Steven Avery was wrongfully prosecuted by the same Manitowoc Sheriff department - almost to the point of being framed (i.e. coping his mug shot and passing it off as the victim's description of her attacker.)
The documentary, while it left some evidence out, did bring to light what it wanted to about the case. It should inspire new trials for both Avery and Dassey due to the mishandling by Katz, the investigators (Fassbender/Wiegert), Dassey first attorney (Len Kachinsky) and the Manitowoc County Sheriff's office (Lenk/Colburn/Peterson).
Additionally, what the documentarians also provided to viewers that anyone can be falsely accused and convicted of a crime - the judicial system is far from flawless, especially when it fails to uphold laws against crimes like perjury under oath or failure follow protocols for investigating crime scenes.
A pardon is inappropriate because if these two committed the crime then they should be incarcerated. A pardon would exonerate them completely from any punishment and negate a need for the new trials they deserve given the above.
Furthermore, given this is a state matter; it is up to Scott Walker to intervene not the POTUS. It's bad enough he weighs in on every shooting; we don't need to encourage his deity complex with our judicial process.