The White House responded to a petition to pardon Making a Murderer subjects Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey on Thursday.
“Since Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are both state prisoners, the President cannot pardon them,” the White House explained in its response. “A pardon in this case would need to be issued at the state level by the appropriate authorities.”
The response continued: “While this case is out of the Administration’s purview, President Obama is committed to restoring the sense of fairness at the heart of our justice system. That’s why he has granted 184 commutations total – more than the last five presidents combined – and has issued 66 pardons over his time in office.”
The petition, which was created on the White House website on Dec. 20, exceeded the 100,000 signatures needed for a White House response earlier this week.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who actually has the authority to pardon the pair instead of Obama, previously stated that he will not do so.
“Those who feel they have been wrongly convicted can seek to have their convictions overturned by a higher court,” Walker’s press secretary Laurel Patrick said in a statement on Tuesday.
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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Tara Fowler