Steven Avery's Lawyer Says We Could Learn A Thing Or Two From This Country's Justice System
Prefacing an upcoming visit to Toronto, former Steven Avery defense attorney Dean Strang complimented Canada's justice system during an interview with The Canadian Press. He and fellow Making a Murderer lawyer Jerome Buting will head north on June 11 as a part of their "A Conversation on Justice" tour before circling back through the westernmost region of the U.S. After the hit Netflix docu-series created an impressive following for the dynamic duo, they decided to take their discussion of America's broken justice system to a bigger stage.
While he was in New York, Strang told The Canadian Press that he and Buting contemplated how to appeal to a Canadian audience. Naturally, they settled on some sort of comparison between its justice system and that of America.
I think part of what you'll hear, honestly, is admiration from us for aspects of the Canadian system that, I think, are superior to ours.
According to Strang, Canada comes out on top for a few reasons, mostly having to do with the structure of their police force. Firstly, he doesn't approve of how police departments elect their sheriffs. In Canada, he pointed out, sheriffs are appointed based on merit. Secondly, he mentioned the ease with which less economically stable defendants can find adequate assistance through the law. Additionally, police training in different Canadian cities maintain consistent rules, values, and behavior.
Your police service training at the provincial level is more uniform ... than police training in smaller U.S. communities which isn't so uniformly organized at the state level, for example.
But as some Canadians would say, the country's justice system has improvements to make. Toronto lawyer Dyanoosh Youssefi wrote a piece for The Huffington Post, explaining why she hopes new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will change some the "draconian" justice system laws in the country. Many of the issues she mentions, such as recidivism and the treatment of juveniles, haunt America's own justice system, as well.
Though Adweek reported that over 19 million Americans watched Making a Murderer during its first week, Netflix has not announced how many Canadian viewers it has attracted. A Canadian podcast on the country's justice system did, however, dedicate whole episodes to analyzing Steven Avery's case shortly after the series aired, suggesting Canada certainly has Making a Murderer fans. So far, both Strang and Buting have travelled to 10 different states around the U.S. Now, they'll be able to call their tour "international."