Beyond Guilt or Innocence: Broader lessons from ‘Making a Murderer’

Public talk, UTAS

Speaker: Mr Dean Strang

Dean Strang practices in Madison, Wisconsin, as a shareholder in StrangBradley, LLC. He was Wisconsin’s first Federal Defender and has argued in the United States Supreme Court, five federal circuits, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Mr Strang is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law and has been an Adjunct Professor at both the University of Wisconsin Law School and Marquette University Law School. He also is a Lecturer in legal history for the University of Wisconsin, Division of Continuing Studies. His first book was Worse than the Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow and Justice in a Moment of Terror (Uni Wisconsin Press 2013; rev. ed. 2016). His second book, about the mass trial of IWW members in Chicago federal court in 1918, Wobbly: America’s Biggest Mass Trial, the Rise of the Justice Department, and the Fall of the IWW will be published in 2018.

Presentation: Beyond Guilt or Innocence: Broader lessons from ‘Making a Murderer’

One murder case involving two defendants, an uncle and a nephew, got enormous worldwide attention in late 2015 when Netflix released Making a Murderer. That 2007 case seems distant from us, both in time and location. Still, the questions it raises, about the connections between broad impoverishment and the judicial system, linkages between class and race, the effect of pretrial publicity on the ability of courts to meet the norms of criminal justice, and the role of the police in a free society, are as important now and here as ever. Mr Strang, who jointly represented Steven Avery in that case, will explore some of the overarching issues that this case raises for any country, just as thousands of other cases around the world also would raise.