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Interweaving his account of the Steven Avery trial at the heart of Making a Murderer with other high profile cases from his criminal defense career, attorney Jerome F. Buting explains the flaws in America’s criminal justice system and lays out a provocative, persuasive blue-print for reform.Over his career, Jerome F. Buting has spent hundreds of hours in courtrooms represeInterweaving his account of the Steven Avery trial at the heart of Making a Murderer with other high profile cases from his criminal defense career, attorney Jerome F. Buting explains the flaws in America’s criminal justice system and lays out a provocative, persuasive blue-print for reform.Over his career, Jerome F. Buting has spent hundreds of hours in courtrooms representing defendants in criminal trials. When he agreed to join Dean Strang as co-counsel for the defense in Steven A. Avery vs. State of Wisconsin, he knew a tough fight lay ahead. But, as he reveals in Illusion of Justice, no-one could have predicted just how tough and twisted that fight would be—or that it would become the center of the documentary Making a Murderer, which made Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey household names and thrust Buting into the spotlight.Buting’s powerful, riveting boots-on-the-ground narrative of Avery’s and Dassey’s cases becomes a springboard to examine the shaky integrity of law enforcement and justice in the United States, which Buting has witnessed firsthand for more than 35 years. From his early career as a public defender to his success overturning wrongful convictions working with the Innocence Project, his story provides a compelling expert view into the high-stakes arena of criminal defense law; the difficulties of forensic science; and a horrifying reality of biased interrogations, coerced or false confessions, faulty eyewitness testimony, official misconduct, and more.Combining narrative reportage with critical commentary and personal reflection, Buting explores his professional and personal motivations, career-defining cases—including his shocking fifteen-year-long fight to clear the name of another man wrongly accused and convicted of murder—and what must happen if our broken system is to be saved. Taking a place beside Just Mercy and The New Jim Crow, Illusion of Justice is a tour-de-force from a relentless and eloquent advocate for justice who is determined to fulfill his professional responsibility and, in the face of overwhelming odds, make America’s judicial system work as it is designed to do....

Title : Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System
Author :
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ISBN : 9780062569332
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System Reviews

  • Kathleen Kirchner
    2019-03-07 19:18

    Okay let's be honest, I would have read this if it was a list of things Buting had eaten during the trial, such is my making a murderer love. But it's actually a really well written book that covers other cases and issues aside from Avery's. Highly recommend.

  • Book Riot Community
    2019-02-20 18:12

    If there was only one thing that people could agree on after watching Making a Murderer, it was that Steven Avery had a decent, kind defense team, comprised of two lawyers who really seemed to care. Now one of those lawyers has written a fascinating account of the case and his feelings on how the evidence was presented and how the state of Wisconsin failed to offer his client a fair trial. If you were transfixed by the show, you’re going to want to read this book!Backlist bump: Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right by Barry Scheck, Peter Neufeld, and Jim DwyerTune in to our weekly podcast dedicated to all things new books, All The Books: http://bookriot.com/listen/shows/allt...

  • Christy
    2019-03-15 17:33

    Well shit. I was 100% sure Steven Avery was guilty before I read this. Now? I'm going with 60%. This book was so well written and really informative not just about Steven Avery but other cases, and most importantly the innocence project. Our judicial system really needs to be fixed. If you didn't know that idk what to tell you other than pay attention. Facts I learned that I found pretty screwed up. Federal laws punished the use of crack cocaine at one hundred times the severity of powder cocaine. Crack cocaine being the form that black and Latino communities used were penalized more than whites.Half the drug possessions in the United States are for marijuana possession. Blacks and whites use pot at the same rate. Yet a black person was 3.37 times more likely to be arrested for it.Of the 445 men executed for rape 405 were black. As of 2012 the innocence project reckoning, approximately 70% of people exonerated by Dna testing in the United States are minorities.That's all on page 42. Can I just say if I ever get arrested to please call this man to defend me? He is just a genuinely likeable guy. As for Steven Avery? I just don't know now. After all I've read from both sides I almost feel as though there is reasonable doubt. If that were the case then he should of been found not guilty. Right? Yet I'm still questioning the carpet cleaning, the letters he wrote, etc. why all that? Why the deep cleaning? I just don't know what to think.Is it possible an innocent man is in jail yet again for a crime he didn't commit? Yes. It seems to happen a lot. But, is he innocent? I still have no clue and doubt I ever will 100% believe in his innocence. His nephew? Well that's a whole different story.

  • Paul
    2019-03-10 13:19

    This is an excellent and well-written account of how hard it is for poor people to get justice in the United States. It also shows the rough local justice of small towns--in this case, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, how criminal trials become simply a competition in which side can tell the better story instead of finding the ultimate truth of what happened. The defendant in this case was railroaded by the cops, the courts, the journalists, and public opinion into being found guilty of a crime he didn't commit. The prosecution tried their case in the media long before the actual trial started. They didn't disclose documents or critical information that showed the defendant's utter lack of guilt.When a trial for a first assault case finds the defendant not guilty, the prosecutors seem to find another crime to pin on him--neither of which he was remotely in the area of the commission of the crime. It's a very disheartening look at how difficult it is for poor people to get justice. A Netflix documentary was evidently made about the case, which caused a lot of viewers to become justifiably outraged at the railroading job. The author is the defendant's attorney, a brilliant man who describes things accurately and with minimal judgment. The unjust imprisonment of the defendant (which actually morphs into two defendants in the second trial) is heartbreaking. The cynicism of the police and the prosecutors is shameful.This is a very absorbing book.

  • Lynn Kilb
    2019-03-12 13:27

    This is not a book about Steven Avery. Fans of the Netflix series Making a Murderer will not be disappointed - Buting covers the most vital aspects of the trial, complete with some breaking news - but the real triumph of this book is that it humanizes a career that is very easy to demonize. Being a criminal defense attorney will not make you popular and it will not make you rich, but Buting makes a compelling case for why someone as bright and talented as he is would choose to defend those charged with the most heinous crimes. In fact, by the time you reach the final page of Illusion of Justice, you will be convinced that not only must you be brilliant and talented to be a criminal defense attorney, you must also be a saint not to become frustrated by a sometimes clunky system full of complacent, sometimes downright crooked players. But even after 30-some years and life-altering experiences outside the courtroom, Buting is able to summon unbridled passion about the law, and commendable optimism about the future of the justice system.

  • Brianna
    2019-02-20 16:19

    This book is exceptional. If you have followed Making a Murderer, you will be happy to know that this is not a complete re-hash of all events. However, if you are both a MaM follower or someone who wants to learn about the injustice of Steven Avery (and Brendan Dassey for that matter) you will be equally as pleased to know that Buting takes you through a well written timeline of events that are crucial to Avery and Dassey's story. Along the road, you learn about Buting, his life, how he came to be a defense attorney, his family, his faith, his cancer diagnosis (given to him on September 11th, 2001 nonetheless), and his dedication to the underdog. This book is simply inspiring. We come to know a man that is humble, eloquent, has found his purpose and is a true fighter of justice. This is not only about Avery, but the many black holes within our system. Buting discusses other cases he's worked that were also handled by prosecutors who seemingly just wanted a conviction, no matter how many red flags. What happened to Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey can, and does, happen everywhere.

  • Nancy Regan
    2019-03-09 13:26

    Just in case you hoped that Steven Avery was a unique target of excess prosecutorial zeal in Wisconsin, consider the case of Ralph Armstrong, another client of attorney Jerry Buting. Buting offers a masterful analysis of both cases in this first-rate study of American justice in the 21st century. And he offers ways we can address the flaws: vote; embrace jury service; be a discerning consumer of media; promote statutes that bar the interrogation of young people without counsel; abandon interrogation techniques that produce false confessions; demand that crime lab results be replicable by others and demand that indigent defense be adequately funded.

  • Amy
    2019-03-10 20:04

    What I was hoping Kratz would present in his book Avery, Buting presented from the defense POV in Illusion of Justice. Buting did a brilliant job of balancing information from his background, thoughts on our justice system, other cases, and the Steven Avery case. I especially appreciated how he introduced law and how it functions and its application in the courtroom. This book was extremely well-written, provided a new perspective, and offered fair insight into where the law performs as intended and where it falls short. Very well done.

  • Nina
    2019-02-23 18:16

    Once you start reading this book, you won't be able to put it down!Very informative and eye opening, I highly recommend it for everyone who is interested in knowing more about our Justice system in general, not just the Avery case.I personally have gotten 4 different copies to share with friends because I was very impressed by this book!So worth it, one of the best books I have read in a long time.

  • Bryana Baker
    2019-02-23 16:06

    Most everyone has at least heard about Making A Murderer, and I’m sure a vast majority have watched the documentary as well. If you are anything like me, this story/case probably both fascinated and disgusted you at the same time for many reasons. Whether you are of the belief that Steven Avery is guilty or innocent, I have found that most can agree on one thing - His defense attorneys, Jerry Buting and Dean Strang, were pretty great. So, naturally, when I found out that Jerry Buting wrote a book involving this case, I had to get my hands on it. At first glance I thought this book was going to primarily focus on the Avery/Dassey stories and all the messy little details that come along with them, which is what initially drove me to buy it. However, I soon came to realize that this book had much more to offer. While there is absolutely no shortage of information regarding the Avery/Dassey cases, there we so many other shocking aspects. From his other cases that he discusses, to the facts and statistics he goes over regarding crime in general, even to his battle with cancer, I had a hard time putting this book down once I got going. Jerry Buting really does a great job of shining a light on a side of the justice system that most people don’t get to see, or don’t want to see, and it was quite eye opening. Being a big fan of true crime, it was nice to see a different take on a story like this that was not afraid to discuss flaws in the system itself and also tastefully addressed the many other issues in the criminal justice world in general that far too many people fall victim to. I am giving this book 5 stars because I was hooked from the beginning and it never lost me. It will be a book that sticks with me in many aspects, for a long time.

  • Mickey
    2019-03-02 18:30

    Written by one of the two defense lawyers in the Steven Avery murder trial chronicled in the Netflix’s documentary “Making a Murderer”, this book is an interesting hybrid of several genres: personal memoir, professional critique, and a behind-the-scenes account of the trial. In my opinion, this book is successful and fascinating in each of its parts. Up front, I should probably admit that Buting was not my favorite half of that team. This is not a knock at Buting, who is obviously a very intelligent and capable lawyer. However, Strang has an almost otherworldly blend of eloquence and high-mindedness that would make anyone else in a side-by-side comparison seem lackluster. It’s like asking a donkey to compete for attention with a unicorn. In the documentary, Buting’s reactions are more common and easily shared: suspicion at the FBI’s involvement, gamesmanship at the discovery of a potentially damning piece of evidence, and a jaded, cynical view of the police and the prosecution. Buting’s world-view is extremely realistic and practical. On the other hand, Strang’s refusal to believe that anyone acted out of malice or personal gain requires such flexible and nimble mental gymnastics that I’d love to hear exactly how such a conclusion was reached. It’s either willfully naïve or inspired. Strang’s position that the miscarriage of justice was caused by an arrogance in people (which he softens into a “lack of humility”) was revelatory. I have a feeling that a book by Strang might be life-changing. It might impart such wisdom that I suddenly find myself living on a beet farm commune in Ohio and answering to the name “Earth Mother”, totally blissed out. Or maybe going to law school and having a steady diet of grilled cheese sandwiches. I really don’t know what effect such a book might have, but I have no doubt there would be one. This natural tendency to compare the two men ignores the fact that their relationship was largely symbiotic. I think without Buting’s more temporal contributions, Strang’s views might be too ethereal to carry a documentary without a narrator. In that way, they complemented each other; We get the dirt from Jerry and the mountaintop view from Dean. It’s the yin and the yang-the sour and the sweet. So while it is difficult for me to be wholly satisfied with this book when it feels like it’s missing half of the combo, it’s a rare occasion to appreciate the Buting without the Strang. I always think a memoir is successful when the personality of the subject comes through clearly, and this book really captures the essence of the man. His descriptions tend to be earthy, stark, and in your face. For instance, when discussing a different case where an eyewitness was hypnotized, Buting describes this practice as ”tantamount to sneezing into a test tube”. (pg 84). He describes Brendan Dassey’s plight in this way: ”The state turned over this teenage boy as if he were a kebab on a barbecue, and even charged him with first-degree intentional homicide, all in order to get his uncle” (pg 183). Buting is a take-no-prisoners professional brawler who reveals in the book that he almost came to blows with the villainous Ken Kratz during deliberations and that he apologized to the jury in closing arguments for the way he browbeat the state’s forensic witness. He’s the darker Batman to Strang’s squeaky-clean Superman; both superheroes, maybe, but there’s a huge difference in their approach. If you want to see the bad guys get banged up, Buting’s your guy. If you want a meditation on justice and truth, choose door #2. Buting is more action-oriented, sometimes to the point of pugnaciousness. While on the task force which resulted from the first wrongful conviction, Buting’s combativeness and impatience at the other members’ reluctance to act explodes into a frustrated rant: ”No one had a serious reason to oppose it [making compliance to the task force’s findings mandatory], but the collective sentiment was that we ought to kick it down the road and leave it for some future panel to deal with”. (pg 133). This is the beauty of his contribution. Perhaps it lacks an elegance, but there’s a vitality and doggedness that can be just as pleasing. It was interesting to hear of his life and his other cases. He’s a dynamic person with an interesting job. Also, he isn’t so pompous that he won’t occasionally poke fun at himself. I credit the documentary (and this book) for getting me to question several assumptions that I had about American justice. I think there is a widely-held assumption that forensic matches are unassailable proof (with as much weight as eyewitness testimony used to have). Another assumption is that defense lawyers are unethical while prosecutors are selfless servants of the people. There was also the chilling revelation that a police force can rely on public apathy to continually act contrary to their official statements with no threat of repercussions. I hope that the success and interest in this case will help bring the public to a better understanding of the legal system. I think that both Strang and Buting are doing good work by using their new-found celebrity to raise awareness about problems in the justice system, and this book is a solid contribution to this goal.

  • Miss Marple
    2019-03-13 17:28

    Like many people out there, Jerome Buting was my favorite character in Making a Murderer (followed closely by his partner, Dean Strang). His passionate and well crafted defense, the easy way he explained even the most complex aspects of the scientific evidence and his witty, straightforward rethoric in court were key elements to make that documentary successful.I'm not just throwing praises at Buting for the heck of it. All those characteristics I've mentioned come through in this very interesting book, that explores not only the behind the scenes of the Avery trial, but also other cases of his stellar career and why he believes the justice system is broken. As an avid reader of true crime stories, I'm usually on the side of the prosecution and the victims, but I have to admit that Buting makes several excellent points. Often we hear about the system protecting the rights of the accused over those of the victims, but reading this book, it's easy to understand why there can't be real justice if the process to convict someone isn't clean.The author talks a lot about his own life, which I personally didn't mind because I'm interested in him as a person, but I'd understand why some readers who mostly care about Making a Murderer could be a bit put off. Buting reminisces about his starts in law, his marriage (with another lawyer who is his partner in a firm), his faith (he's a devout Catholic, as is Dean Strang, I learned), his kids and the cancer that almost cost his life. All this elements help to build him up as an every day man, but one with strong convictions and a rightly calibrated moral compass. So often defense lawyers come as sleazy and avid for publicity, but this man's career and consistent hard work shows he really cares about perfecting the justice system. He doesn't make excuses for guilty clients, just wants to make sure their process is adequate and the punishment fits the crime.In terms of Making a Murderer, I was honestly expecting more revelations. Buting assumes that the reader has seen the series (why else would you be reading his book?), so he doesn't go too deep in many of the details of the trial seen on screen, although he sheds some light on what was going on behind it, particularly the work of the filmmakers, his and Strang's efforts and his intense dislike for prosecutor Ken Kratz, with clear examples on why he's less than ethical. Buting clearly believes in Avery's innocence, but he doesn't mention that until the last part of the book, when he's answering frequently asked question. In the chapters covering the trial, he doesn't focus that much in his client's alleged innocence but on why his arrest and trial was a miscarriage of justice. And he has a point. Even if you don't believe that the evidence against him was planted, there were many missteps and failures and that's why we are all left with such big doubts about the case.At the end, he addresses some of the questions I had after watching Making a Murderer and hearing Kratz complaints about the incriminating bits that were edited from the documentary. Buting's answers are clear and convincing, and considering Kratz's behavior in this case and others, I'm inclined to believe that these bits are not what he portrayed them to be.Buting devotes a good amount of time to another of his cases, that of Ralph Armstrong, who spent almost 30 years in jail for a horrible crime he didn't commit. This is a well chosen case because the miscarriage of justice is so shocking, and there were developments unfolding at the same time as Avery's trial. Bottomline, I'd recommend this book to anyone who watched Making a Murderer and who is interested in the judicial aspects of true crime. It's a very informative book, told in an easy, fluid narrative.

  • Dan Downing
    2019-03-16 21:09

    Full disclosure: I had never heard of State vs. Avery or "Making A Murderer" when I ordered this book. Having read it, I feel compelled to rate it a 5 Star effort, although it suffers from severe faults. The writing is pedestrian, it is clearly and admittedly biased; a large part has nothing to do with improving America's justice system or with the Avery murder case. I understand why it is full of biographical background information and the reasons for paeans about the other attorneys who helped with the cases: one needs to fill the pages AND build up a rapport with the reader---to establish credence. That way the tidal wave of thirst for justice can sweep over us, and we can harbor, however secretly, that small wish that certain actors in this drama will be found one day face down in the gutter with a small hole in the backs of their heads. Without doubt, as presented, that would be a fair ending for some people here.As a reviewer, I refuse to outline my books or summarize plots. My goal is to offer opinions about books I believe have merit---I do not read trash----and if anyone wants more information about what is between any particular set of covers, there are plenty of 'reviews' out there which render books in condensed form. I am tempted here to summarized at length, at least so far as the last 40 go. After relating the course of several trials, mainly the one the Netflix documentary was based on, Jerome Buting offers us his opinions and observations on what we can do to improve America's justice system. I will mention one here because it is vital and close to home: VOTE. To hell with Presidents and Senators and the rest of the scallywags: vote for the local guys, for the Sheriffs and the Constables and JPs---the people who administer justice right in our own communities. I am not likely to chat with our President, although I have eaten lunch at his ridiculous Florida retreat and may again, but I have spoken with our local District Attorney numerous times, broken bread with him, leaned on the bar next to him and knew several of his clients from his defense days before he became a public servant. I watch the insipid circus shows he gets involved in when a few pounds of drugs get seized at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the 'Joint' task forces, and so forth. I can reach out and touch the local people and if I ever get into serious trouble (Homeland Gestapo aside) it will probably be local law I will deal with, just as you will. VOTE locally, it is better than a bullet in the back of the head and isRecommended.

  • Breia
    2019-03-18 13:20

    Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.For the record, I have not watched Making a Murderer.I vividly remember this case and the media and the cops/prosecutor having grown up 30 miles from the scene and "knowing" Steven Avery was guilty. Appearances, sadly, and socioeconomic status play a large part in impressions and this guy was dirty and guilty AF. I do recall the inconsistencies and statements made by the DA that were not able to be proven but her BURNED BODY was found on their property - someone in the family knows what happened and/or murdered her. Therefore, its just not dishonest cops and an overzealous DA, it is also the family that framed their son/brother/relative. Good riddance. This book makes you think though - and realize the inconsistencies were more than that but just blanks unfulfilled. The current US justice system needs to be redone - it is antiquated and a waste of time and resources what with the advent of SCIENCE. Perhaps if those wasted resources would be better spent in labs, expanding facilities to reduce backlog, training, documentation and standardization for employees and companies. Just a thought but with the state of our country now, something will need to give and soon.The book was well written and interesting but way too Jesus-y for my liking.

  • Monica Willyard
    2019-03-09 19:31

    This is the riveting story of what it's like to be a person who is innocent of a crime but sent to prison for many years. In this book, I respected criminal defense attorney explains how the legal system works, what happens if DNA evidence proves a person innocent who is currently in prison, and explains why the appeals system isn't very helpful in reversing someone's conviction. The author has worked to help several men reverse their conviction when DNA and other evidence has proven that they are innocent. In two cases, it was found that the prosecutors deliberately withheld information at the initial trial that would have helped the jury determined that the person was innocent. Even after the trial, one prosecutor was given a confession and other information that he should have used to exonerate the prisoner. This book has changed my mind set. I always thought that if evidence was found proving a person innocent, they would be immediately released. This is not true. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this yet, but I feel a major shift in paradigm inside my head.

  • Fremom3
    2019-02-21 18:10

    I've never understood how someone can be a defense attorney, but I think I get it now. I was very impressed by both Buting and Dean Strang while watching MAKING A MURDERER on Netflix. I remember turning to my daughter, a probation officer, and saying "That guy (Steven Avery) has some great lawyers." Buting proves that he is not only a great lawyer, but a fine, compassionate person, as well...and a great writer! I highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoyed MAKING A MURDERER, to lawyers and law students, and to people with jobs in or ties to law enforcement...and anyone else who enjoys a good nonfiction read. Always at the center of Buting's mind seems to be humanity...how he, and we, can make the world a better place. A wonderful man and a thoughtful and thought-provoking book.

  • J.L. Whitaker
    2019-03-08 16:21

    If you're interested in the wider human side of the Steven Avery case, in particular one of his defense attorneys, this book is for you. The writing is fluid and engaging. Buting shares himself with the reader, including his background (a Hoosier, like me!), the challenges he was facing in his personal life, and how this wasn't his first wrongful conviction rodeo. With this book you get your money's worth. Unlike the Ken Kratz's pseudo-book that is really a novella, both in content and in length, Jerry puts his heart in this and shares his feelings about that ridiculous excuse for a prosecutor. A page turner.A MUST READ.

  • Stefania
    2019-03-01 17:23

    Great as a companion to watching the 10 part documentary. I did not know about Jerry's battle with cancer and how his family, faith and amazing doctors helped him beat it.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-27 20:31

    This book is very similar to the Making a Murderer documentary. There are some small parts and facts that weren't in the documentary but was well written. Worth a read and a watch.

  • Ben Delaney
    2019-03-09 15:15

    An excellent read from someone who appears to be not only an excellent attorney but a stand up guy too - how’s he’s able to not stick the boot in to Kratz is beyond me! If you’ve watched making a murderer this is a must read - and if you’ve not watched it - this is still a must read!

  • Monte Brogdon
    2019-02-26 21:23

    My sister and I listened to this as an audiobook together. I really enjoyed hearing the facts and opinions about our legal system and just how broken it is. I also loved the behind-the-scenes tidbits about Making A Murderer and learning more about the Steven Avery trial and Jerome Buting's thoughts on it. This is the type of book that will seriously make you think about our country and our legal system and how unjust life can be.

  • Nancy Jurss
    2019-03-15 21:15

    Being a resident of Wisconsin, most of what I knew about the Stephen Avery case came from the sensationalized reports from the media during the trial. I had not seen the Making of a Murderer series, so this was an enlightening "other side of the story". Mr. Buting covers another case he was involved in through the Innocence Project in the book as well, and makes a compelling story of how the system can presume guilt and affect the outcome of the trial accordingly.

  • Susan
    2019-03-12 15:09

    I had some concerns about this book. For one, I question anyone who shied away from applying for my job. ;) But I always have concerns about a defense attorney writing a book about their famous case, especially after they left the public defenders for a private gig. After listening though, this dude is definitely down for the cause. He gets it. He knows what it's like to get a "split the baby" verdict. He knows what it's like to lose when you believe your client is innocent. He knows just how unfairly the deck is stacked in favor of the prosecution. He knows just how much prep a trial takes. I'm only 7 sworn jury trials in, but I've prepped a total of 17. This dude is legit. I gave this book 5 stars because being a defense attorney is hard as hell, and I've had a really shitty work week. I do, however, wish this book spent more time about criminal justice reform. Yes, I know, most of our stories we can't share. That's the sucky thing: we know the ugly side of the law, but due to client confidentiality, we can't tell you. We can't tell you about the egregious discovery violations or how we've been threatened with felony charges because we legally defended our client's interests. But it's there. It's real. The worst is when everyone agrees the mandatory minimum is outrageous, but there's absolutely nothing you can do about it post verdict. And then you are approached by two jury members who want to make sure your client is okay, but you can't tell them they just committed your client to a mandatory minimum 90 day jail sentence by signing the jury form. This is my job, folks. This is a pretty good read overall. Definitely worth the time, even if you aren't an attorney.

  • Debbie
    2019-02-17 16:15

    In Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America's Broken System, Author Jerome F. Buting really folded a lot of information into a relatively short book. The book took a look at several of the Wisconsin cases that Buting has been involved with as a criminal defense lawyer and also pulled the curtain off of several important and key issues regarding law enforcement influence over cases inside (and outside of) their jurisdiction. Unfortunately defendants - particularly in rural areas and often those who have been in trouble before - are not always afforded the "innocent until proven guilty" tenet when suspects are being sought for a crime. It seems that "once a trouble maker, always a trouble maker" seems to be the lens through which law enforcement approaches some members in their communities. Particularly when Buting shared some of the detail in the Steven Avery case, there were quality leads not followed and rather damning collusion by local law enforcement to find a way to convict Mr. Avery. It was pretty disheartening.This book was a very effective way for Mr. Buting to share information through a "live" example of issues uncovered during a trial along with important, instructive ways that reform can be implemented. He showcased his concerns, frustration, and near outrage, but balanced that with clear and concise ideas and direction on how things can be moved in the right direction. Kudos to Mr. Buting for providing a balanced approach and not just uncovering the problem! (I feel like he would make a terrific college professor that you would actually learn something from...)

  • Lynn Keith
    2019-02-21 17:17

    OMG! The American justice system is a nightmare! I am probably the only person left in the lower 48 who missed the "Making a Murderer" mini-series. In a way I'm glad I did. It made this book all the more powerful. What happened to the men the author represented was a gothic horror story in real life. I understand why people kill themselves in prison. To spend ten, twenty, thirty years in prison for a crime I didn't commit would definitely drive me to suicide. As a person who once survived the U.S.Army, I thought I knew what bureaucracy was all about. Boy, was I wrong. The bureaucratic incompetence, malice and laziness work to grind down every person who gets pulled into the system. Since everyone assumes they are guilty, nobody cares if they have to wait forever for justice. I read this book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. Then I couldn't sleep. So, if you don't have enough to worry about in your life, or you want something to fight off that narcolepsy you've been suffering then this is the book for you.

  • E M
    2019-02-26 16:11

    I should have read the title of Jerome F. Buting's Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer ... more carefully. Because I never watch television, I have become lax in following that part of popular culture and as a result, I'd never even heard of, much less seen the show familiarity with which the author quite reasonably presupposes, and my ignorance combined with his confusingly non-linear (indeed, somewhat rambling) narrative which intermittently (and equally non-linearly) addresses some of his other cases in addition to that involving Avery and Dassey's complicity (or not) in the Halbach murder, made the book a disappointment to me. Someone who has watched the Netflix show (and, ideally, its many resulting discussions in the blogosphere as well) is in a much better position to give Buting's book a fair reviewThat said, the reason for a 3- rather than 2-star rating is the footnotes, which referenced several very interesting and informative articles on related subjects.

  • Sarah Kate Watson
    2019-03-11 13:28

    I watched the Making a Murderer documentary series essentially in one go- I was home from work due to a skiing injury and I found it to be very entertaining. Both Ken Kratz (of the prosecution) and Jerry Buting (of the defense) released their books in February 2017. I didn't much have a preference as to which one I would read, I was just craving more Making a Murderer, wherever it came from. I loved Avery's lawyers, Dean and Jerry. They were so charismatic, likable, passionate and ethical. Kratz on the other hand was easy to despise, be it his slimy tactics or his allegations of sexual harassment. I looked up the reviews of each book on Goodreads and Buting's was much higher rated with an average of above 4. Kratz's was in the low 3's. I'm glad I chose Buting's, because I was entertained and interested the whole way though. If you are craving more Making a Murderer, you must read this book!

  • Erin Charpentier
    2019-03-03 18:18

    Like most of the Netflix subscribing world, I was addicted to Making a Murderer in December 2015. I don't know if Steven Avery is innocent or guilty, but I felt strongly that Brendan Dassey was not guilty and was so poorly treated by the so-called justice system. This book isn't so much about the trial or about the lawyer's beliefs, so much as it offers a glimpse into parts of the case that weren't covered in the documentary, as well as a look into other cases that were similar in nature. I really enjoyed it, particularly hearing the insider view and what Buting's life was like during the trial. I especially liked the note at the end about what can we, average citizens, do to help reform a broken justice system. I would probably not recommend reading this if you haven't watched the documentary because it does rely on a certain context.

  • Keith Lytton
    2019-03-02 19:32

    I have watched the Netflix special and have read the book by the "unbiased" prosecutor ( who by the way was completely biased) ... but was a little disappointed that the book didn't delve deeper into the case itself but did approach several other cases where convicted felons were released later ...but overall very glad to have read it...of course this isn't over...Brandon Dassey has been ordered released due to the confession being called "so clearly involuntary in a constitutional sense that the court of appeals' decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law." by an upper court...a good book..worth the time...

  • Paula Grabow
    2019-03-06 13:23

    This books a must read for any true crime buff. I read it in one sitting. You literally can't put it down. It's semi-autobiographical but the story is so compelling. Jerry Buting manages to intertwine his personal life along with very fascinating cases he has worked on. The unsung hero in this book is his amazing wife Kathy. Her humor, faith, tenacity and positive attitude was so inspirational when Jerry was battling a serious illness. I wish I could give his debut book more than five stars.