The Netflix true crime documentary series Making A Murderer turned Steven Avery’s trial lawyer Dean Strang into an unlikely sex symbol, and since then he has used that sudden interest to voice his concerns about shortcomings in the justice system, namely the inability for anyone without considerable financial resources to get a truly fair trial.
He went on a speaking tour around the world to discuss this and other issues raised by the documentary, and in his latest appearance at Marquette University he commented on the Wisconsin State Attorney General’s decision to appeal a federal decision to throw out Brendan Dassey’s conviction for the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach.
“The state often is very interested in preserving the status quo,” Strang said, in quotes taken by FOX 6 News. “And the status quo right now is that Brendan Dassey is convicted, he is in prison and this sort of inexorable pressure to keep him there I think, makes it no surprise the attorney general’s office sought to appeal. It means acknowledging a significant wrong or a mistake, which is hard. It means potentially putting victims through another trial.”
Dassey’s motion for habeus corpus relief will now end up with the US Circuit Court of Appeals, where a panel of three federal judges will review the decision made by Judge Duffin to overturn Dassey’s conviction and release him. There’s no clear timeline for how long this should take, but past movement in Dassey’s post-conviction case have taken between six months and two years.
“In the end, you come down one way or another and that’s always contestable a higher court or different court may see it differently or may agree,” Strang finished.
That’s good in that people like Dassey usually have one avenue or another to appeal. But with the system designed to deny appeals, and allow the state to appeal themselves in the rare case that a defendant’s appeal is actually granted, it makes you question how fair things really are. Especially when you consider this is someone in prison with limited to no resources fighting the bottomless pockets of the state.
(Via FOX 6 NOW)