The wildly-popular Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer debuted in mid-December 2015, and revolves around the story of Steven Avery. Avery served 18 years in a Wisconsin prison for attempted sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen before being exonerated by DNA analysis in 2003.
Filmed over the course of ten years (and in ten episodes), the story follows the whole thing, from the crime itself to the exoneration Avery’s defending attorney, Dean Strang.
Strang will be coming to Minnesota State University, Mankato April 6 with Patrick Casey of the Knutson & Casey Law Firm located here in Mankato. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Bresnan Arena in the Taylor Center. Tickets are free for students, but only two are allowed per MavCARD, and it is $10 for the public to attend the event.
Leah Danko, the Student Events Team Speakers and Entertainment Chair, said the event will feature the two attorneys mainly talking about the case.
“It is also about the injustice in the criminal justice system,” Danko said.
Getting Strang was an opportunity that the Student Events Team couldn’t pass up as opposed to another speaker that could have come to campus.
“My advisor, Bill Tourville, came to me and said, ‘Dean is available at this time. He is going from one place to another. This is his 24-hour turnaround time, where he can come on our campus. It was a like a spur-of-the-moment thing,” Danko said, adding that though she didn’t choose Strang herself, she chose to go forward with Strang.
“Bill came to me and said, ‘We should bring him. This is a hot topic.’” Danko said.
Students should attend the Strang speaker event for several reasons and would receive several benefits from the experience.
“They would be learning about the criminal justice system,” Danko said, adding the fact she had only seen a couple of episodes of the documentary herself, so she would know at least the background.
Students will also learn about other things in the criminal justice system itself.
“Learning about what’s going on behind the scenes, [behind] closed doors of these cases,” Danko said.
One of the examples Danko mentioned in regards to going behind the scenes of cases was the fact that Avery’s local police eventually framed him for the crime he had committed.
However, Danko says that students should attend the event for another very important reason.
“It’s a topic that not a lot people talk on campus, but I think it’s important that you learn more about it,” Danko said.
Students and the public can either pick up their tickets at the Student Activities Office in CSU 173 or go online to mnsuevents.com.