After its release in December, Making a Murderer took Netflix viewers by storm. People all over the nation binge-watched the series and formed their own opinions about the details of the case and whether Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are innocent of murdering Teresa Halbach. The docuseries became so popular that even people from all over the world joined in on the craze that brought the topic of wrongful convictions to the forefront of public conversation. Now, those who believe in Avery and Dassey’s innocence can show their support on June 11 at a worldwide protest.
Injustice Anywhere, an organization that focuses on righting wrongful convictions, runs freebrendan.org, where details about the protest were posted. Along with cities nationwide including New York City, Washington D.C., and Sacramento, protests will also be held in Manchester, Dublin, and Melbourne. One will also be held in Avery and Dassey’s hometown of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for which a GoFundMe page was created to raise money for an event following the protest where a guest speaker and silent auction will be featured.
Avery and Dassey supporters have created a number of online communities to share information such as articles about the uncle and nephew, pictures from prison, and updates from their family members. Facebook is one of the major platforms for those online communities, including the “Steven Avery Project” page, which has over 110,000 likes, and closed groups that encourage conversation. One noteworthy active member of those groups has been Carla Chase, Avery’s niece and Brendan’s cousin. The closed Facebook groups include the “We Stand 4 Innocence” rallies group, members of which firmly believe in the relatives’ innocence and have demanded that they be released and exonerated immediately. They feel that the misconduct of Manitowoc County officials should be enough to at least grant both Avery and Dassey new trials. Members also ask that Wisconsin’s Attorney General investigate accusations of Manitowoc County corruption and that law enforcement members who have participated in the misconduct be held accountable.
In addition to an obvious focus on Avery and Dassey, the protests on June 11 will also address the criminal justice system, particularly the issue of wrongful convictions. The long-term goals of the “We Stand 4 Innocence” group seek reforms to the criminal justice system in order to limit the future occurrences of wrongful convictions. Those reforms include police officers wearing body cameras, all interrogations to be videotaped, and guaranteeing that a lawyer is present while minors are interrogated.
Those who are interested or want to get involved can visit the “We Stand 4 Innocence” Facebook group for more information or to see if an event is planned nearby.