While there’s still a lot of debate over whether Steven Avery is guilty of the murder he was convicted of in the Netflix documentary series Making A Murderer, no one will deny there were serious issues with the way the case was handled, both by the police and by the courts. If you wanted a more clear cut ‘good guy’ to cheer for in the series, why not Avery’s defense attorney Dean Strang?
Strang won over the hearts and minds of viewers everywhere with his passionate speeches on the shortcomings of the justice system and his desire to fix the systematic issues that prevent many people in America from getting a fair trial. It’s to the point where men and women alike are gushing over their #strangcrush on social media, making him one of the most unlikely sex symbols of the year.
But Dean Strang isn’t interested in talking about that. He wants to shine a light onto problems with the system. Here he is explaining to Business Insider how he’s trying to use his newfound fame from Making A Murderer to start a larger conversation about justice:
“All I’m trying to do at the moment is kick the interviews or the forums in which I think we might discuss the broader issues that the film raises and I might get to say some of the things I want to say after 30 years-plus working in courts,” Strang said.
“I think among those [issues] that I see in the documentary are the role of class in our criminal justice system. Once you’re talking about class it’s hard to disconnect that from race, ethnicity, recent arrival as an immigrant, because all of those things get linked disproportionately to being a member of an underclass,” Strang said. “Right from the start, we’re reunning a criminal justice system that depends heavilym for it’s fodder, on the poor.”
“The world is a great laboratory to look around and say, ‘What best practices is Norway using? What best practices is New Zealand using?’ What best practices do we see in any country?” Strang said. “I don’t know that you could point to any country on earth that has all best practices. I do know that every country on earth has a criminal justice system that is composed entirely of human beings with all of our weaknesses and strengths.”
Strang was one of the few voices of steadfast sanity on Making A Murderer, and there were few “Wow, that’s messed up!” moments in the show that weren’t followed by Dean breaking down just how ridiculous the situation was. When the Manitowoc County Sheriff said it would have made much more sense to simply murder Steven Avery than try to set him up, Strang was on it. When special prosecutor Ken Kratz held a press conference to claim Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey sexually tortured Teresa Halbach before slitting her throat and killing her, Strang questioned what sort of system allowed this type of grandstanding. What happened to the presumption of innocence?
To bring it back to that #strangcrush stuff on social media, let’s leave this with the words of parody Twitter account Sexy Dean Strang:
(via Business Insider)