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'Making a Murderer' Lawyer to Appear at Boswell Books

Mar. 6, 2017
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The Netflix series “Making a Murderer” was nothing short of sensation. It brought the attention of the world to Wisconsin and the fascinating case of man and his nephew perhaps wrongly convicted of murder. It also made stars of many of the participants, particularly Jerome Buting and Dean Strang, Steven Avery’s defense attorneys. Now a year removed from the height of “Murderer” mania, interest it the case and its characters has ebbed. Such is the way of all things viral. Just last March, Buting and Strang participated in a national speaking tour that kicked off at downtown’s Riverside Theater. This Wednesday, Buting will appear in a more modest setting, Boswell Books (2559 North Downer), to discuss his new book, “Illusion of Justice: Inside ‘Making a Murderer’ and American’s Broken System.”

For anyone interested in the larger implications of the Avery case, distance from the fervor is probably a good thing. The series inspired a lot of sentiment, much of it very pitched, but much of it also quite worthless in any practical sense. But with the Angry Commenter/ Yelp Down-voter Army having lost interest, Buting’s book could be the start of true conversation on the American criminal justice system. A conversation not about Avery or Brendan Dasey or the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department, but about the entire class of poor and ill-educated defendants who, guilty or not, simply do not exist in the same system as does a defendant with means.

Buting’s book is a reflection on the Avery case and offers a unique look at the process of making the documentary. But it also discusses other high-profile cases of false conviction, using the Avery case as an illustration of the larger deficiencies of the system. Buting also continues to take shots at the prosecution’s case, arguing – as he did in the documentary – that Avery was set-up by the county. The popularity of “Murderer” has produced a small library of lousy books about the case, most of them sloppy and self-published. But Buting’s new offering is, based on excerpts, well-written, thoughtful, and was actually edited and professionally published (by HarperCollins, no less).

If you go: Buting will appear on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:00 pm at Boswell Books at 2559 North Downer. The conversation will be hosted by WUWM Lake Effect’s Mitch Teich. Admission is free and books will be available for purchase. 


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