Entertainment & Arts

Making a Murderer: Defence lawyer Dean Strang says newfound fame is 'bewildering'

Warning: This story contains spoilers

Steven Avery Image copyright Netflix
Image caption US lawyer Dean Strang was filmed defending his client Steven Avery (above) who was wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years for sexual assault

A lawyer from the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer has described his newfound fame as "bewildering".

Defence attorney Dean Strang told BBC News: "I have a hard time just being Dean Strang most days".

The 10-part documentary tells the real-life story of Steven Avery. He was wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years for sexual assault.

After his release he was then accused and found guilty of murdering a young woman, Teresa Halbach.

Many think he was set up by law officials in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, who feared they faced a huge financial penalty over the first case.

'Wrenching viewing'

Mr Strang said the series was a good exploration of larger issues in the American criminal justice system "through the prism of two small, compelling story lines".

Steven Avery's nephew Brendan Dassey is 16 in the documentary and finds himself involved with murder allegations against his uncle.

He is convicted of helping to kill Ms Halbach, and imprisoned.

Mr Strang described a scene in which the teenager is being questioned as "really wrenching viewing".

"That's unfortunately not an uncommon experience for children who are pulled into a police investigation or into the adult criminal justice system, and indeed for many people with learning disabilities or difficulties who are confronted with well-trained and aggressive police interviewers."

Image copyright AP
Image caption An online petition has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures seeking a pardon for Steven Avery

Mr Strang had a front row seat during the trial and defended claims from the prosecutor Ken Kratz that crucial facts had been left out.

"The perspective on this is interesting, right?

"This film manages to cram in all of the most significant evidence and arguments that the state made. And I think it even-handedly does the same for the defence.

"Now, there is less significant information and argument that's omitted on both sides but that's unavoidable where you're devoting 10 hours in total to this story.

"I think the editorial judgements made here are perfectly defensible as reasonable and fair."

Mr Strang has even been compared to legendary book character Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird but admits "it is not a comparison I have made or ever will make".

"I have a hard time just being Dean Strang most days. The newfound exposure has been bewildering at times and just so unlikely in the extreme.

"My wife and I are still trying to adjust to it," he said.

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