The following are some of the articles from the many challenging cases handled by the firm:
FALSE CONFESSIONS OCCUR MORE THAN COMMONLY THOUGHT
WITNESS IDENTIFICATION METHODS IMPORTANT FOR ACCURACY
COURT FILING: RALPH ARMSTRONG WAS FRAMED FOR MADISON MURDER
MURDER CASE AGAINST RALPH ARMSTRONG DISMISSED AFTER PROSECUTOR HID EVIDENCE OF HIS INNOCENCE
SUPREME COURT OVERTURN MAN’S CONVICTION IN 1996 MURDER:
Disputed confession was wrongly used against him, court says, in appeal argued by Attorney Jerome F. Buting. Read more.
MAN WHO KILLED ESCORT FOUND NOT GUILTY BECAUSE OF MENTAL ILLNESS:
A West Allis man was not criminally responsible when he killed and dismembered an escort at his apartment after writing a blueprint for the slaying, a judge ruled Thursday. Successful insanity defenses in homicides are rare in Wisconsin. Even serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who mutilated the corpses of multiple victims, was found sane. But the verdict in this case means the defendant, represented by Attorney Jerome F. Buting, will be headed to a mental hospital, not prison. Read more.
CRIME LAB PROBE OF ANALYSTS FAULTY WORK:
The work of up to six state Crime Laboratory analysts whose negligence or misconduct may have jeopardized forensic test results should be independently investigated, Attorney Jerome F. Buting argues in a formal complaint he filed this week. Read more.
DNA WILL SET MAN FREE, LAWYER SAYS: NEW TRIAL SOUGHT FOR MAN SERVING TIME FOR RAPE, MURDER:
Attorney Jerome F. Buting of Waukesha said he plans to file court papers as early as today asking for a new trial for Ralph D. Armstrong, 48, who is imprisoned at Waupun. Buting said he wouldn’t be surprised if Dane County prosecutors fight the request. “It’s not easy for the state and the police to admit that a mistake of this magnitude was made,” Buting said. “It’s much easier to try to resist the truth than it is to admit that you’ve imprisoned the wrong person for years and allowed the perpetrator to get away scot-free.” Read more.
ARMSTRONG GETS NEW TRIAL IN 1981 RAPE, MURDER CASE: COURT ACTION MAY MAKE IT EASIER FOR INMATES TO GET NEW TRIALS:
The historically high hurdle Wisconsin inmates with new evidence must overcome before earning a new trial was lowered a bit Tuesday. The state Supreme Court reversed Ralph Armstrong’s 1981 conviction in the grisly rape and murder of a UW-Madison student. It’s among the oldest convictions in the nation overturned using new DNA evidence, said Armstrong’s attorneys, Jerome Buting of Brookfield and Barry Scheck of The Innocence Project in New York.
STEVEN AVERY’S ATTORNEYS VIEW THEIR JOB AS A SPECIAL CALLING:
Jerome Buting and his co-counsel Dean Strang take a certain comfort knowing many people in the room think they’re trying to keep a murderer out of prison. They’re criminal defense lawyers. It comes with the job. Read more.
AVERY TRIAL: DEFENSE QUESTIONS BLOOD CLUES:
An 11-year-old vial of blood that was used to clear Steven Avery in a 1985 rape conviction has become central in his defense against charges he killed Teresa Halbach. Jerome Buting of Brookfield, one of Avery’s attorneys, said the vial he found – unsealed and in an unsecured area of the Manitowoc County Clerk of Courts office – could show that blood was planted to implicate Avery in Halbach’s death. Court records indicate drops of Avery’s blood were found in Halbach’s vehicle, which was partially concealed in the Avery Salvage Yard. But what the vial shows, Buting said, is that Avery’s blood would have been available to someone who wanted to frame him in Halbach’s death. “Now we have blood existing and that could happened.” Buting said. Read more.
AVERY TRIAL: PLANTED KEY POSSIBLE, DEPUTY SAYS:
A recurring question after nine days of testimony in the Steven Avery trial is why it took so many searches over so many days for investigators to turn up critical pieces of evidence linking Avery to Teresa Halbach’s death. Cross examination by Attorney Jerome F. Buting has revealed that key pieces of evidence – the key to Halbach’s Rav-4 and a bullet fragment with her DNA on it – were found well after the first wave of searches. Read more.
AVERY DEFENSE PRESSES OFFICER FOR SPECIFICS:
Despite the forced-friendly demeanor between the attorneys trying Steven Avery’s case, there appears to be no love lost between the police and Avery’s defense team. The defense has continued to accuse Manitowoc County Sheriff’s officials of planting evidence to frame Avery. Read more.
AVERY DNA RESULTS TAINTED:
DNA expert Sherry Culhane spent nearly all of Monday defending her test results that show the origin of blood and DNA found in Teresa Halbach’s sport utility vehicle in 2005. Cross examination by Attorney Jerome F. Buting nearly doubled the half-day she spent Friday detailing the only piece of DNA evidence that directly connects Halbach to Steven Avery’s property. Buting’s cross examination revealed that Culhane’s test show contamination occurred during the test, which by the Lab’s own protocol meant the test was unreliable and should be thrown out. Buting challenged. “And yet, for the first time in your career, you deviate from protocol to include, to find one piece of evidence – the only piece of evidence in this entire case – that links Teresa Halbach with Mr. Avery’s garage or house.” Read more.
AVERY EXPERT FINDS FAULT WITH BLOOD TESTS:
The defense in Steven Avery homicide trial opened Friday with testimony from Janine Arvizu, a laboratory auditor who questioned the accuracy of FBI test results of bloodstains found in Teresa Halbach’s vehicle. The FBI’s hastily developed testing protocol was fine for confirming the presence of EDTA, a chemical preservative, but was not designed to rule out its presence in a bloodstain, Arvizu said. “The fact that EDTA was not detected in a stain does not mean EDTA was not in the stain,” Arvizu said, noting that the limits of the analysis machine might not have been low enough to find the chemical. Read more.
AVERY JURY COULD HAND DOWN VERDICT TODAY:
Jurors listening to the evidence in the Steven Avery case heard the long form of closing arguments Wednesday. Attorney Jerome F. Buting argued there was ample evidence which pointed to a fame-up of Avery-by the real perpetrator as well as police investigators who were eager to convict Avery because he sued them for his wrongful conviction in 1985 and 18 years of imprisonment. “Let me make one thing very clear right here at the outset, we do not and have never claimed the police killed Teresa Halbach, but in that respect they have that in common with Steven Avery…However, the person or persons who did kill Teresa knew exactly who police would really want to blame for this crime.” Buting said there was plenty of evidence suggesting a frame-up, including evidence that the bone fragments found on Steven Avery’s property had been burned elsewhere and then moved to his property. Buting argued it defied logic for Avery to have burned a body somewhere else and return the remains to his own backyard. Burned remains were located in a burn barrel in the yard of Avery’s sister next door and in a quarry near the Avery salvage property. Buting suggested that the burn barrel was used by someone to transport the remains from a burn site somewhere else and then dumped in the burn pit behind the garage. That accounts for some of the remains being found in the barrel, he said. “[I]f that body was burned elsewhere and then moved and dumped on Mr. Avery’s burn pit then Steven Avery is not guilty, plain and simple because no one would burn a body somewhere else and then move the remains and dump them in their own backyard. No one would do that. No one.” Read more.
PROBATIONER CAN REFUSE TO PARTICIPATE IN TREATMENT:
The state may not revoke probation because the defendant refuses to admit his crime in court-ordered sex offender treatment, until the time for a direct appeal has expired or an appeal has been denied, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held in an appeal argued by Attorney Jerome F. Buting. Read more.
SUPREME COURT RULES OFFENDER’S RIGHTS VIOLATED: PROBATION REVOCATION REVERSED FOR MAN WHO REFUSED TO ADMIT CRIMES:
A convicted sex offender can detail his or her crimes while in treatment and, as long as the case is on appeal, those statements can never be used against the offender, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a Washington County case. The unanimous ruling came just six weeks after oral arguments in the appeal by Attorney Jerome F. Buting, of Buting, Williams & Stilling, S.C., in Brookfield. Read more.
OSWALD’S ATTORNEY BLASTS STATE PROSECUTORS: PETITION FOR RE-HEARING IN NEW TRIAL FALLS SHORT, HE SAYS:
State prosecutors asking for a re-hearing over a federal appeals court decision granting Ted Oswald a new trial did not satisfy the narrow requirements established for the rare proceeding, according to an attorney representing the convicted bank robber and killer. Attorney Jerome F. Buting said in an answer to prosecutors’ request of the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago that the “state’s petition amounts to nothing more than its belief the panel erred in its decision, which falls woefully short of the requirements for the extraordinary procedure.” Read more.
YOUNGER OSWALD COULD GET NEW TRIAL: SUPREME COURT DECIDES NOT TO REVIEW FEDERAL APPEALS COURT DECISION:
Ted Oswald, imprisoned with his father for a notorious 1994 crime spree that left a police captain dead, could be back in a Waukesha courtroom in as little as two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider prosecutors’ request to reinstate his conviction. Oswald’s attorney, Jerome Buting, was “pleased but not surprised” by the Supreme Court decision. The decision by the high court not to review a federal appeals court decision granting Oswald a new trial left prosecutors reassembling their case a decade after shelving it. In a brief filed in federal court last month, Buting contended that “serious double jeopardy concerns” could prevent a retrial, because of “prosecutorial and judicial overreaching.” “The record reveals extreme overreaching by both the prosecutor and the judge to subvert the fairness of the trial by impaneling a jury deeply biased in favor of the prosecution.” Buting noted that with its ruling, the federal appellate court said “the prosecutor…made every possible effort to prevent the judge’s determining whether jurors were biased.” Read more.
ON BUDGETS AND BURDENS, COURT SYSTEMS ARE A TALE OF TWO COUNTIES:
The circuit court systems in urban Milwaukee and suburban Waukesha have always been different, primarily because of the differences in population and level of crime. But resources are playing an increasing role in the disparity between the two systems, threatening the quality of justice in Milwaukee County while enabling Waukesha County to try new approaches. Jerome Buting, chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Wisconsin State Bar, says the Milwaukee County court system already has fallen behind the systems in much of the state. Read more.
NEW CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION FORMED FOR WISCONSIN:
In an effort to improve Wisconsin’s criminal justice system by identifying and remedying problems that have led to wrongful convictions, legal officials from around the state have formed a new Wisconsin Criminal Justice Study Commission. The Commission includes Attorney Jerome F. Buting of Buting, Williams & Stilling, S.C. in Brookfield. Read more.