In December 2015, Netflix debuted Making a Murderer, a 10-part documentary series about Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man convicted of sexual assault in 1985, only to be exonerated by DNA evidence and released in 2003.
In 2005, while he had a $36 million civil lawsuit pending against county and law enforcement leaders, he was arrested for the murder of a 25-year-old woman last seen on his property. During the course of the investigation, Avery’s then-16-year-old nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also charged with being a party to first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and first-degree sexual assault. Avery and Dassey were found guilty, in separate trials, in 2007.
The Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth took up Dassey’s case in 2008. Professors Steven Drizin, Laura Nirider, and Thomas Geraghty have represented Brendan through his appeals process and are prominently featured in Episode 10 of this globally riveting documentary that has received international attention and outrage.
Laura Nirider is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY) at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. Nirider represents Brendan Dassey, and other individuals who were wrongfully convicted of crimes when they were children or teenagers. Her clients have also included Damien Echols of the West Memphis Three, whose case was profiled in the documentary West of Memphis.
Nirider’s Expertise Includes:
– False Confessions
– Wrongful Convictions
– Police Interrogations
– Juvenile Justice
Steven Drizin is the Assistant Dean of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Legal Clinic and the former Legal Director of the Clinic’s renowned Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY). Drizin was a leader in the successful effort to outlaw the juvenile death penalty and co-wrote an amicus brief in Roper v. Simmons, the United States Supreme Court’s decision holding that capital punishment could no longer be imposed on offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time they committed their crimes.
He has also appeared in several documentaries, including:
– David and Me,
– West of Memphis, and most recently,
– Netflix’s Making A Murderer.
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