Sunday was Mother's Day — even for those behind bars and their families. Most notably the family of two of America's best known inmates, Making A Murderer's Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, uploaded celebratory Mother's Day pictures and messages for their mothers. Despite the distance and prison walls they were still able to acknowledge the holiday.
These were not the only Mother's Day photos shared by people questioning the fairness of the justice system. The Innocence Project also wrote a blog post entitled, "These Photos of Exonerees Hugging Their Moms Will Make You Smile." Six different exonerees smile for the cameras with their moms. The main text of the post is pretty brief:
The Innocence Project celebrates the resilient and courageous mother’s of the wrongfully convicted — Happy Mother’s Day!
The non-profit's post goes on to explain who the six men are and how long they were separated — anywhere from seven to 30 years. The Innocence Project is an organization dedicated to freeing the wrongfully convicted, which Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey claim to be. (The courts believed otherwise; both are serving time for the murder of Theresa Halbach.) Thanks to the group, these men can finally spend Mother's Day in person with their moms.
Next year, Kathleen Zellner hopes that Steven Avery will be among them. She tweeted out the story to her followers saying, "Steven Avery needs to be in next year's photo — plan to make that happen."
Uploaded by Carla Chase, Dassey's cousin and Avery's niece, the first set of photos show Dassey with his mom, Barbara Tadych, and his stepdad, Scott. The caption reads, "Happy Mother's Day from Brendan."
The other group includes photos of both Dassey and Avery with their moms. Avery's mother is Delores. The caption reads, "Happy Mother's Day to 2 wonderful women..(with their sons Steven & Brendan)." Both she and Barbara have maintained their sons' innocence from the get-go.
Neither Dassey nor Avery have officially moved closer to having appeals heard — or being exonerated, Avery's lawyer's preferred method. Even as Zellner works to free Avery, he is appealing — although it has been slow going through Wisconsin's court system. Dassey is still waiting on a ruling from a federal judge who could release him or call for a new trial.
In the mean time, there's no doubt that their mothers would like to see them home. As Barbara wrote in her Change.org petition asking for Dassey's release, "He wants to come home where he belongs … help this poor boy come back to his family."