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Jerome Buting    

Author & Former Attorney for Steven Avery, Subject of "Making a Murderer" Documentary

Jerome (Jerry) Buting was raised in Indianapolis, one of seven children born to devout Catholic parents during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Era. Growing up in an environment concerned about social justice influenced his career choice to become a criminal defense lawyer to defend the rights and liberties of the individual.

Buting attended Indiana University and graduated with a BA in forensic studies and a minor in history. He obtained his law degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An internship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C. during law school gave him an appreciation for how good prosecutors approach their work with integrity and honesty – an experience that helped shape his career as a defense attorney.

Over the course of his career, Buting has worked on many high-profile cases while also serving as a frequent lecturer on DNA, computer crimes, and other forensic evidence. His reputation as a tenacious, talented defense attorney preceded his role as the co-defense attorney in the State of Wisconsin v. Steven Avery murder trial in 2007. His performance throughout the trial and his efforts toward exposing both the shaky integrity of law enforcement and inherent flaws in the justice system came to national attention following Netflix’s popular documentary “Making a Murderer."

However, in 2001, Buting’s greatest challenge wasn’t happening in the courtroom. It was in a local hospital and then home, where he spent a grueling year as he battled cancer. The aggressive treatments nearly cost him his life, tested his faith, and prompted exhaustive reflection on his vocation and life purpose. His wife and law partner, Kathy Stilling, managed both home and office workloads, as he slowly recovered, determined to continue the fight. As with many cancer survivors, Buting was provided with a new lens on life. Re-energized in his vocation, his focus would be on making a difference in people’s lives, using the tools of mind, personality, and spirit given to him. In 2017, Buting published the best-selling book "Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System."

Buting has spoken domestically in over 130 cities throughout the USA, and internationally in Canada, Chile, U.K., Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Iceland, Australia and New Zealand. He speaks on all aspects of criminal justice, the Netflix docuseries "Making a Murderer" and the Steven Avery/Brendan Dassey cases involved in the series, true crime, forensic evidence in the courtroom (and its flaws and limitations, contrary to Hollywood's portrayal), ethics and other related topics. As a cancer survivor, he also speaks about overcoming challenges in life and using those as inspiration to find purpose.

Speech Topics


True Crime

Forensic Evidence In The Courtroom And Its Flaws and Limitations, Contrary to Hollywood's Portrayal

Ethics in Law

Criminal Justice

"Making a Murderer" and the Steven Avery/Brendan Dassey Cases

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