If you're a Making a Murderer fanatic, brace yourself for this one. Not unlike a popular band, Steven Avery's defense attorneys Dean Strang and Jerome Buting are going on tour around North America. The pair have gained quite the following after being heavily featured in Netflix's hit docuseries, in which they brazenly questioned the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department and spoke passionately on the flaws within the justice system itself. The tour, titled "A Conversation on Justice," will focus on the broader implications of Avery's case and features what are sure to be lively Q&A sessions at the end of each speech.
In their own right, Strang and Buting have become public figures because of their legal intelligence and willingness to question authority. Some even argue that they're just plain sexy. If you're not convinced by their stellar careers, take a look at the parodic Twitter accounts made in Strang's name: Dreamy Dean Strang, Sexy Dean Strang, and the Twitter handle @YaBoyDeanStrang.
Fans dying to ask questions or simply witness the two lawyers speak on the inner-workings of the criminal justice system can catch the pair at 27 various locations between April 16 and August 21, 2016. You can also follow @strangandbuting on Twitter for regular updates on the tour.
The team started their tour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Friday and stopped in Grand Rapids, Michigan, two days later. In Milwaukee, the lawyers faced an inevitable question: Do they believe Steven Avery is guilty of murdering Teresa Halbach? Strang spoke for both himself and Buting, saying, "I think both of us have very strong suspicions that an innocent man is sitting in prison."
Based on the lawyers' past talks, social issues may also take center stage during the tour. Avery and his family, for example, claimed to have been looked down upon by the community because of the way they lived. According to the docuseries, Avery has an IQ of 70 — verging on intellectually disabled — and wasn't particularly wealthy. According to Buting, the stigma associated with the less educated and poor community could have played a role in the trial:
I think the point of the documentary was to shine a light on what happens in courtrooms, what happens particularly with poor people, situations with conflicts of interest with law enforcement.
Another ongoing topic of discussion came up in west Michigan, where Strang explained how flaws within the criminal justice have the potential to become addressed in a bipartisan fashion. This is especially relevant in the context of the 2016 presidential primary elections, which have been absolutely divisive. He said:
I think there is a rising interest in all aspects of criminal justice, and that attention to it will cause people, regardless of people’s party affiliation or general political orientation, to generally find common ground on the ways we can improve the administration of justice.
With luck, their tour will help launch a serious discussion on criminal justice system reform into the public arena. By holding ongoing Q&A sessions, Strang and Buting have also invited the audience to dictate the direction of the conversation. Virtually no inquiry is off the table. Judging by attendees' reactions to the tour on Twitter, the occasional comic relief is also included.
Questions will likely focus on Brendan Dassey, the teenager convicted of helping Avery murder Halbach, as well. Because of his young age and allegations that interrogators coerced him into confession, some viewers were more outraged by his life sentence than by Avery's. His story will be just as vital to Buting and Strang's commentary on how we can change the justice system for the better.
Image: Making a Murderer/Netflix