An attorney who represented “Making a Murderer” subject Steven Avery during Avery’s murder trial tears into prosecutor Ken Kratz in his new book, saying that Kratz came off as “smarmy and fake” during the trial.
In his book “Illusion of Justice,” out Tuesday, Jerry Buting said that he had a friendly enough relationship with former Calumet County district attorney Kratz at first, but that changed once Avery’s trial began.
“During the months leading up to the trial, Ken Kratz and I had been civil, even cordial, with each other. But once the jury was sworn in, his cordiality vanished,” Buting recalled in an excerpt published by EW.com.
In the excerpt, Buting admitted that Kratz’s technique for questioning witnesses “got under my skin.”
“The mannerisms of another lawyer are usually not really of great moment for me, but I have to acknowledge that Ken Kratz’s approach to questioning witnesses got under my skin,” the excerpt reads. “When any civilian witness testified, he would soften his voice and make a conspicuous effort to appear gentler, more tender, as if he were so sorry that the defense was making them suffer through a trial and the ordeal of testifying in court.”
“Perhaps he thought this would make him seem like a good guy to the jury, but it struck me as smarmy and fake,” Buting continued. “A criminal investigation and prosecution is not a popularity contest. A professional approach to the circumstances is not demonstrating callousness to the survivors of a crime but rather the ethical duty of police and prosecutors. Not letting his manner bug me was part of my duty, I realized, so I did my best to filter him and concentrate on what the jury was hearing and seeing.”
Buting and his colleague Dean Strang defended Avery during the trial, at which Avery was ultimately found guilty of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach.
Avery’s case was taken up by attorney Kathleen Zellner after the Netflix docu-series “Making a Murderer” caused outrage among viewers who felt that Avery might have been wrongfully convicted.