Convicting Avery by Michael D. Cicchini
The Bizarre Laws and Broken System behind "Making a Murderer"

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Convicting Avery will most definitely captivate fans of the documentary, and while Cicchini had no direct involvement in the Avery case, this book adds expert legal depth to the key procedural and evidentiary issues that were raised in the original documentary.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

The shocking Netflix documentary Making a Murderer left millions of viewers wondering how an apparently innocent man could be wrongfully convicted - not just once, but twice. This book explains, in plain English, the numerous flaws in Wisconsin's criminal justice system that led to the wrongful convictions of Steven Avery and his mentally challenged nephew Brendan Dassey. Equally disturbing, it also reveals that similar flaws exist in other jurisdictions of the country.

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.
 

About Michael D. Cicchini

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Michael D. Cicchini, JD, is a criminal defense attorney in Kenosha, Wisconsin; the author of Tried and Convicted: How Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Destroy Our Constitutional Rights; and a coauthor of But They Didn’t Read Me My Rights! Myths, Oddities, and Lies about Our Legal System (with Amy Kushner, Ph.D.). He is also a columnist at the Wisconsin Law Journal and a blogger at The Legal Watchdog, and has published articles in several law reviews, including the Fordham Law Review and Northwestern University’s Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology.
Author Residence: Kenosha, WI
Author Hometown: Kenosha, WI
 
Published April 4, 2017 by Prometheus Books. 213 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Convicting Avery
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Above average
on Jan 16 2017

...his discussion of legal principles is occasionally technical, and specific case comparisons would have bolstered his insinuation that Wisconsin is an ominous legal backwater. Will engage fans of the series and readers who wonder if prosecutors really do cut corners in their campaigns against serious criminals.

Read Full Review of Convicting Avery: The Bizarre... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Sep 12 2017

Cicchini convincingly demonstrates that the Kafkaesque criminal justice in Avery’s case was not an anomaly, and his work is an accessible entree into the debate over how defendants’ rights should be protected.

Read Full Review of Convicting Avery: The Bizarre... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Michael Thomas Barry on Apr 03 2017

Convicting Avery will most definitely captivate fans of the documentary, and while Cicchini had no direct involvement in the Avery case, this book adds expert legal depth to the key procedural and evidentiary issues that were raised in the original documentary.

Read Full Review of Convicting Avery: The Bizarre... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Blog Critics

Above average
Reviewed by Tim Gebhart on Apr 02 2017

While built around a particular case, the issues raised in Convicting Avery apply to the criminal justice system as a whole. Opposing arguments certainly exist but Cicchini makes clear he is viewing this from the perspective of a criminal defense attorney.

Read Full Review of Convicting Avery: The Bizarre... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Reader Rating for Convicting Avery
87%

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