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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 16 August 2022

Making a Murderer's Jerry Buting on the 'possible reason' why Steven Avery didn't take the stand

The lawyer was speaking to Ivan Yates on Newstalk Breakfast.

Jerry Buting
Jerry Buting
Image: Netflix

If you’re still working your way through the programme this article contains spoilers. 

JERRY BUTING, ONE of the lawyers who shot to prominence following his appearance in Netflix’s Making a Murderer series, has explained a vital point in the case.

During his trial – in a move that was a surprise to some viewers – Steven Avery declined to take the stand.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning with Ivan Yates, Buting explained some of the possible reasons why this might have been.

Taking the stand 

Clarifying that he was speaking in general terms as his discussions with Avery were subject to attorney-client privilege, Buting said the decisions over whether or not a client testifies are “always complicated”.

“Criminal defendants very often don’t have a lot of education or they may be afraid of public speaking,” he explained.

Versus polices officers, for instance, who are really professional witnesses. They come and testify all the time.

“There is the other problem when a defendant does testify, jurors tend to weigh that testimony against the police testimony and decide which one is more believable, when that is really not what the law says.

“… [It] is a difficult thing for people to do because it is not usually the way we make decisions in ordinary, daily life – where we do weigh one person against another.”

He also said that there was a “catch-22″ with a defendant taking the stand that “people might think, ‘oh why should we believe him, he’s got everything at stake, he’s got motivation to lie?’.

But then if you don’t put him on, ‘What is he hiding? Why doesn’t he testify?’ You’re kind of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

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International sex symbols 

During the interview, host Yates went on to asking Buting about the legions of female fans that him and fellow attorney Dean Strang have attracted since the programme aired.

Buting said it was “flattering” but not really the “most important outcome” of the programme. He also added that it was something only his and Strang’s wives had known “for years”.

Fans of the show will be able to catch Strang tomorrow night when he appears on RTÉ’s The Ray D’Arcy Show tomorrow night.

Read: They had no funds and no Netflix – but here’s why Making a Murderer got made

Also: Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery files new appeal as ex-fiancée says “He’s not innocent”

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