The author, himself a criminal defense attorney in Wisconsin, details the egregious procedures that resulted in the Avery and Dassey convictions. Besides the use by law enforcement of suggestive eyewitness-identification methods and interrogation tactics known to produce false confessions, defense lawyers had their hands tied by a truth-suppressing trial rule. Though they had evidence that someone other than Avery murdered Teresa Halbach, Wisconsin courts rarely permit consideration of such evidence. Perhaps most troubling, the burden of proof in this state is actually much lower than the constitutionally-mandated "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard.
The author not only discusses the documentary, but he also quotes from and cites Avery's and Dassey's appellate court decisions, appellate court briefs, numerous trial court documents, other cases, law review articles, and scientific studies.
This unsettling book will give you facts and insights beyond those presented in the documentary and leave you wondering whether the constitutional right to a fair trial is actually guaranteed where you live.
- ISBN-13: 9781633882553
- ISBN-10: 1633882551
- Publisher: Prometheus Books
- Publish Date: April 2017
- Page Count: 213
- Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-02-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Even readers unfamiliar with the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer will be intrigued by Cicchinis insights into the inequities of the criminal justice. Steven Avery spent almost 20 years in prison for the rape of Penny Beerntsen, only to finally be exonerated by DNA evidence; when he sued the Manitowoc, Wis., sheriffs department for wrongful conviction, he was arrested again and charged with an unrelated murder. The evidence against him included the suspicious discovery of the victims car key in plain view on Averys bedroom floor, on the sheriffs departments sixth search of his property. Cicchini, a criminal defense attorney based in Kenosha, Wisc., and author of Tried and Convicted: How Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Destroy Our Constitutional Rights, uses the unsettling Avery case to highlight common police practices and judicial attitudes that combine to stack the deck against criminal defendants. They include suggestive identification procedures such as show-ups, in which witnesses are shown only one person to identify, and Wisconsins loose practice of allowing expert testimony about pretty much anything from pretty much anyone. Even after that practice was ostensibly discontinued by the courts, judges still justified the admission of questionable evidence by stating that it would have been admissible under the prior standards. Cicchini convincingly demonstrates that the Kafkaesque criminal justice in Averys case was not an anomaly, and his work is an accessible entree into the debate over how defendants rights should be protected. (Apr.)