Steven Avery’s Defense Lawyers Are Not Convinced of His Innocence (or Guilt)

Dean Strang and Jerry Buting appeared together for the first time on ‘CBS This Morning.’

The now-famous defense lawyers for Steven Avery, the subject of  Making a Murderer, appeared together for the first time since the Netflix docuseries aired to discuss the murder conviction and the allegations that Making a Murderer left key, incriminating details out in order to present Avery as a victim.

Dean Strang, who has given countless media interviews since Making a Murderer became a national obsession, was joined by his trial partner Jerry Buting, who has kept a much lower profile. In the interview, the lawyers appeared to be roughly on the same page in terms of how the case was handled and if Making a Murderer was misleadingly biased.

Prosecuter Ken Kratz, who spoke to Maxim in December, has repeatedly said Avery used deception to lure Auto Trader magazine photographer Teresa Halbach to his home on October 31, 2005 — the day she was murdered — and that Halbach was afraid of Avery due to some odd behavior on previous work-related visits to his auto yard. But Buting defended the filmmakers’ presentation of Halbach’s appointment to photograph Avery’s sister’s car on October 31. “She knew where she was going,” Buting said. “There was nothing sinister or unexpected about how that was arranged.”

During the interview, Gayle King pointedly asked the lawyers if they believed Avery was innocent.

“I’m not convinced of his guilt,” Strang said, and Anthony Mason pressed him further: “So you’re saying there’s some doubt in your mind?” Strang replied, “Sure. Absolutely. And if it was OK to convict people on maybes, I wouldn’t be worried about this. But it’s not.”

It’s important to remember that a defense lawyer does need not be convinced of his client’s complete innocence in order to show reasonable doubt in court — so let’s be careful before we characterize Strang’s comment as a bombshell revelation that is further proof of Avery’s guilt.