Jerome “Jerry” Buting, one of the defense attorneys for Steven Avery during his 2007 murder trial, spoke out about the evidence left out of Making a Murderer this week while he attended the European Young Bar Association conference in Northern Ireland.
Bustle reports that Buting, who many viewers may remember as the tall, soft-spoken, but determined lawyer featured in the docu-series, stated that while many people are claiming that damning evidence was left out of Making a Murderer, the defense’s response to the evidence was left out as well.
“Those pieces of the prosecution’s case that were left out, there was also the defense response to those pieces that were left out. And in the end, they were largely neutralized at the trial to the extent where even in the closing argument — just to pick one example, the supposed DNA on the hood-latch. By the end of the case, the prosecutor spent only half a page of his hundreds and hundreds of pages of hours and hours of closing argument on that point.”
In turn, according to Buting, even though the documentary left out key information that was presented in the trial, it ultimately didn’t make that much of a difference in Avery’s conviction. Buting states that the case was based more on circumstantial evidence and that the most crucial information in Avery’s trial can be seen in the film.
“So those are just really, I think, misrepresentations and unfair representations as to how the case went down. The majority of the really hot pieces of evidence were covered for both sides.”
Buting also stated that the popularity of Avery’s case has resulted in the public looking more closely at the American justice system. Although the attorney feels that the system can be generally trusted, there is still a lot of work needed, especially among teens and young adults. For instance, Buting pointed out that questioning a teen without the presence of a parent or a lawyer, such as what happened with Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey, who was only 16 when he was interrogated about the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, is something that occurs regularly in the U.S.
“In America last year, we had 150 exonerations of people who were wrongly convicted … That’s like three a week or something. I’d like to see us get to the point where we don’t have to talk about exonerations, where instead we just avoid the wrongful conviction at the front end.”
Meanwhile, Ken Kratz, the prosecuting attorney in Avery’s trial, and arguably known as one of the least favorite people shown in Making a Murderer, will stand up to the naysayers next month, when he’ll try to sway people to see that Avery is guilty. Kratz, now a defense lawyer, will argue why Avery is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt during a Rockford, Illinois, event with Fox News‘ Judge Jeanine Pirro.
According to the organizers of the event, called, “Avery: Guilty as Charged,” Kratz will present evidence in the case that hasn’t yet been shown.
While Kratz gears up to prove Avery is indeed guilty, wrongful conviction attorney Kathleen Zellner continues to work to prove that he’s innocent. Zellner uses Twitter to keep supporters updated on the process of trying to get Avery out of prison, and instead of a new trial, she wants her client completely exonerated. She plans to do that with the help of scientific tools that weren’t available during the initial investigation.
For now, Steven Avery remains in the Waupun Correctional Facility in Waupun, Wisconsin. He’s serving a life sentence without parole for Halbach’s murder.
[Photo by Netflix]