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Lawyers ask Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers for clemency of ‘Making A Murderer’ subject

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FILE - In a Friday, March 3, 2006 file photo, Brendan Dassey is escorted out of a Manitowoc County Circuit courtroom, in Manitowoc, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Former attorneys for the co-defendant of a man whose conviction for rape and murder as a teenager was documented in the 2015 Netflix series “Making a Murderer” are asking Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers for clemency.

Brendan Dassey, 32, has spent about half his life in prison for his alleged crimes. He and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted in the 2005 rape and murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach.

Advocates have been pushing for Dassey to be freed but ran out of options in the courts after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his appeal. Evers refused to consider Dassey’s 2019 plea to scrap his sentence.

The most recent request to free Dassey came earlier this week in a letter from Jerome Buting and Dean Strang, who had represented Avery. The lawyers said Evers could exercise his constitutional power of executive clemency while at the same time fulfill a campaign policy to lower the state’s prison population.

“The courts have failed Brendan repeatedly and at every level,” the lawyers said. “We ask you to exercise the power that only you have: to free him. We ask you to do it now.”

Buting and Strang said they were moved by the 16-year anniversary of Dassey’s “manipulative interrogation” to speak out on his behalf.

The “Making a Murderer” series cast doubt on the motives of police and left many viewers with the impression that Avery and Dassey were wrongfully convicted.

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