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Publisher's Summary

Interweaving an insider's account of the true-crime saga and Netflix sensation Making a Murderer with other controversial cases from his career, this powerful memoir from Steven Avery's defense attorney reveals the flaws in America's criminal justice system and puts forth a provocative, persuasive call for reform.

Not since The Thin Blue Line has there been a true-crime saga as engrossing as Making a Murderer. Captivating audiences across demographic lines, it made Steven Avery a household name and thrust defense attorney Jerome F. Buting - and his fight against America's dysfunctional criminal justice system - into the spotlight.

In Illusion of Justice, Buting uses the Avery case as a springboard to examine the shaky integrity of our law enforcement and legal systems, which he has witnessed firsthand for nearly four decades. From his early career as a public defender to his success overturning wrongful convictions, his story provides a compelling insider's view into the high-stakes world of criminal defense and suggests that while in principle the law presumes innocence, in practice it more often than not presumes guilt.

Combining narrative reportage with critical commentary and personal reflection, Buting explores his professional motivations, the high-profile cases that defined his career, and the path to much-needed criminal justice reform. Taking its place beside acclaimed best sellers such as 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 the judicial system work as it is designed to.

©2017 Jerome F. Buting (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Illusion of Justice

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Tells it like it is . . .

As a former prosecutor turned public defender, I'm always eager to read a fellow defense attorney's experiences in hopes of gaining wisdom and inspiration. Mr. Buting's story delivers both in abundance. He openly shares both personal and professional triumphs over incredible odds, and ably conveys the pressures and fear of representing an innocent client, along with the lasting pain of losing such a case. His dogged determination to keep fighting inspires, especially when after years and decades, an innocent person is finally exonerated and set free. He exposes the prosecutor's heavy-handed methods for coercing guilty pleas, along with other flaws in what has become mostly an assembly line justice system. Refreshingly, he also points out ways we can make a differnence at the local level to insure rights are upheld. Enjoyed his take on Making a Murderer, and learning about how he and fellow ace attorney Dean Strang became involved in it, and what was left out of the film. Although biased as a defense attorney, I agree with his conclusion as to Avery's innocence and the way the criminal justice system is stacked against the defense. Bottom line is I enjoyed the story very much along with the excellent narration - and hope you will too; I highly recommended it.

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excellent read and very eye-opening

I listened to DA Krats' book first and then this one so that I could be as objective as possible regarding this case. there is no comparison between the two as this book is eloquently written with Incredible intelligence and passion. the narrator did a phenomenal job and kept me listening at every available moment.

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Truth

Mr. Buting is a man of integrity who revealed so much about himself and cases that indeed are full of illusion. This book gives wonderful insight into hurdles that defense lawyers face and reveals needed changes in our justice system. Thank You.

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Truth behind the illusion

A gripping, clear and well written account of the Avery case and so much more. With insight into the author and the events that shape how people come to view prosecutions and defendants, Illusion, is a triumphant and masterful book.

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There is a lot to admire in Mr. Buting, and his book is good.

I still believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Steven Avery killed Theresa Halbach. But I also like Mr. Buting, and enjoyed his book. But I am not totally convinced that even he truly believes in Mr. Avery’s innocence.

I watched Mr. Buting in Making A Murderer during that scene with the vaccutube stopper, and I work in the medical field and knew that the hole in the top is not suspicious or sinister, and one can see that moment when he is totally deflated—-he thinks he has found actual proof of police conspiracy, and he is jumping for joy, and then he realizes that’s how the blood gets in a vaccutube.

But he doesn’t say, “I was mistaken, never mind, I didn’t know about vaccutube technology”. Of course instead he says, “Well, the state will just find some way to twist it around. No point in even trying to use this proof of police misconduct...”

To me, Mr. Butings book is an enjoyable memoir by a competent lawyer...and then it gets to the Steven Avery case, where every other attorney who writes a book explains their theory of the case, and he instead says something about how he doesn’t want to belabor the facts of this dead-horse case, so he’ll just argue the main points. And then he makes some points about everyone involved except Steven Avery, and then he sort of trails off...

But hey, you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t. It’s hard to argue innocence for someone who appears so clearly to be guilty and maintain credibility or make logical sense. Mr. Buting does as good a job as anyone can.

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Free Steven Avery & Brendan Dassey !!!!

Good rhythm and kept me interested. I learned some things that are not shared on Making a Murderer or on Reddit.

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Insightful!

Great read! This book really opened my eyes to the flaws within America's justice system.

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The Making of an Attorney

I found this book very interesting because the story of the author was more interesting that the story of Steven Avery. It kept my interest but there wasn't that much about the case that the title indicates. It was very good although I would have liked to hear more about the woman that SA married while in prison and hear more from her point of view. There were lots of holes in this book. I still enjoyed it and hearing about the authors cancer and his life made the book worth hearing even though the title was a bit deceptive.

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A defense attorney look at the Steven Avery case

This book includes the story behind one of Steven’s defense attorneys. Some may not appreciate the extra info, but others may relish it. It tells you who the defense attorney was, his life up to, during and a little after the Steven Avery case. He does not rehash the Netflix show, but adds more depth to the story behind it. I would recommend for anyone wanting to go further behind the curtain of the Avery case.

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Absolutely tragic

I was mesmerized by the story, even though I had watched MAM. I highly recommend this book!

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  • John Lovie
  • 09-21-17

Harrowing Reveal of Injustices

Having gone to Jerry Buting’s talk in Aberdeen a few months ago, I was looking forward to finding out more about the Ralph Armstrong case. The details revealed in the Armstrong case and in the Avery/Dassey case are incredible. The injustices leave you wondering how those supposedly on the right side of law and order are still in their jobs and how they can sleep at night, assuming they have a conscience. Perhaps they have not. Such a well written book from one of the good guys in our corrupt society.

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  • BouncyB
  • 04-08-17

Enjoyable and informative

This is no making a murderer cash in - yes, there is an excellent insight to that phenomenon but what stands out is the attention to detail of the American justice system as a whole. A system whereby mistakes made innocently or otherwise can take some 30 years to resolve. Butings prose is informative without being dry and I particularly enjoyed the narrator. Very happy to recommend.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-31-18

Best book I've read in year's

This is a great book and he seems like a great guy. Great insight loved it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Brendan Bell
  • 09-05-17

This is a brilliant book.

Having seen the netflix series years back and found it enthralling I wanted to know more. the book is a great telling of the background of the cases of brendan dasey and steven avery. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Steve Hunt
  • 09-22-21

How can this even happen?

If you're reading this book, you already know to what the title of this review refers to.

A deep dive into the career and life of Jerry Buting, one part of the co council from Steven Avery's trial. For more than 35 years Mr Buting has been representing the less fortunate as a public defender and then later in his own practice more high profile cases, the biggest of which would be this one, The Steven Avery case brought to a global audience by the Netflix documentary series, Making a Murderer.

The author takes you through the whole case and perhaps more importantly the emotions that all involved went though in this tragedy. Never have I been more convinced that there is an innocent man still rotting jail for a crime he did not commit. The descriptions of how the law should be applied and how they actually were leave you breathless.

The performance in the audio book is superb as is the writing. If you enjoyed the show and want to hear more about the man who was part of a defence that never stood a chance against the machine that is local law enforcement, grab this fantastic book and enjoy.

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  • Shaun
  • 07-06-21

Brilliant

this book is brilliantly read and a great account of some of the details and story around making a murderer. I have no idea how Steven Avery was convicted on the evidence presented.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-01-21

An exposé of flagrant judicial malpractice

The narrator seemed to be sight reading. Very irritating ! Nevertheless,, it's well.worth the effort.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-22-19

Engrossing !very engrossing

A must for any one with interest in the Avery ,Dassey case and their pursuit of freedom

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  • YDN19
  • 10-29-19

Intrigued from start to finish

This book not only discusses Steven Averys case but also Ralph Armstrongs overturned conviction and a little bit about Jerry, his life and family. I thought it was well written and comes across as a factual account of the events in both the Avery and Armstrong trials. I particularly found the forensic science subject matter around these cases interesting and troubling. Judicial reform is urgently required. God help the innocent who are wrongly accused. Nicely narrated, I could have sworn it was spoken by Jerry himself. With all the stories and media hype surrounding these cases, it's nice to get the story from the side of the defence lawyer himself.