(WBAY) – As the entire world looks at Wisconsin’s criminal justice system after Netflix’s release of the documentary series “Making a Murderer,” one of the men who defended Steven Avery in the 2007 trial is writing a book.
During an exclusive interview with Action 2 News on Monday, Jerome Buting said the goal of his book is to educate the public on the dysfunctions of America’s criminal justice system.
“This is not the way our system was intended to work by our forefathers, not even by a long shot. It doesn’t have to be accepted by our citizens today. We can make changes. I’m optimistic and hopeful we will,” Buting said.
After practicing law for more than 35 years, Buting says, “I think I have a lot to say that transcends the Avery case.”
And in that light, Buting says his book will not only look at Avery’s experience through Wisconsin’s court system but also other clients who had similar experiences, and other cases in which he is familiar, in Wisconsin.
“I can share perspective others don’t have, that the public doesn’t have,” Buting said.
“The kinds of issues that came up in the Steven Avery trial that a lot of people think are unique to that case … are far from unique and happen all too often,” he said.
Buting says after practicing law for 35 years, he has seen the same problems from one case to the next with the criminal justice system.
His book, expected to be released sometime in 2017, will address proposed reforms to the criminal justice system, including police interrogation methods, addressing prosecutorial misconduct, and properly maintaining evidence.
Buting says he last saw Avery the day before the documentary debuted in December and is hopeful his new attorney, Kathleen Zellner, will finally bring justice to the case.
Avery’s latest appeal was again delayed recently as Wisconsin’s District 2 Court of Appeals granted Manitowoc County’s Clerk of Circuit Court a second extension to index and gather files for Avery’s appeal.
Buting says his book is not intended to be a response to a book by Ken Kratz, the special prosecutor who was assigned to the case in 2005.
In a separate interview with Action 2 News, Kratz, who was the District Attorney of Calumet County and special prosecutor in Avery and Brendan Dassey’s murder trials, said he felt an obligation to speak up for victim Teresa Halbach and her family since the release of the Netflix documentary.
Kratz has previously defended the prosecution of Avery citing both physical and circumstantial evidence presented at trial, which secured a conviction.
But Buting maintains that justice has yet to be served.
“The blindfolds have been taken off as a result of watching ‘Making a Murderer,’ and they [the public] see what kinds of things can and do happen in the court system. I think it’s time it stops,” Buting said.
Michelle Clemens contributed to this report.