|Eugene Higgins, The Black Cloud, oil on canvas, |
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Madison, Wisconsin — Misstatements, defamation, and refusal to address merits of Steven Avery's legal quest for a second exoneration define Democrat-led Dept of Justice misconduct in post-conviction litigation in State of Wisconsin v. Steven A. Avery, (Appeal Number 2017AP002288).
Unreported in Wisconsin corporate media is the fact the DOJ has gone to unprecedented lengths to block a hearing on law enforcement misconduct that helped frame two innocent Wisconsin men. The State strategy is to delay, defame and make political appeals to corrupt judges and other Wisconsin Democrats who have made the state the worst place to be innocent.
"If Mr. Avery's conviction truly has integrity it will withstand the scrutiny of an evidentiary hearing. Without such scrutiny the question of the integrity and fairness of Mr. Avery's trial hangs like a dark cloud over the Wisconsin criminal justice system," writes Avery attorney, Kathleen Zellner in his Aug 2021 petition to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, (p. 9).
Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, were convicted of first-degree homicide in Wisconsin in 2007 for the murder of a young photographer, Teresa Halbach.
Avery is appealing to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in post-conviction litigation, seeking a new trial or an evidentiary heating in his August 2021 petition.
Since assuming office as attorney general in 2019, Democrat Joshua Kaul has acted perversely in opposition to requested hearings on evidence, garnering disbelief from advocates for the wrongfully convicted and human rights activists.
Kaul is defending the bad work of the odious Ken Kratz, who admits numerous pathologies during his tenure as Calumet County District Attorney to explain away sexual and ethical misconduct in office, before being driven from office, and later resigning his license to practice law in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin attorney Jerome F. Buting has been practicing law here for 40 years. Buting has seen a lot in his practice.
But even Buting was apparently shocked by the conduct of the Democrat Dept of Justice — defying fairness and any sense that a defendant should obtain legal recourse to misconduct — blocking an evidentiary hearing.
Writes Buting on social media after the DOJ penned a bizarre response to Avery's petition before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, a DOJ reponse since publicly rebutted by Avery's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, devastating the DOJ.
WI’s phobia of an evidentiary hearing in Avery’s case can only be because they know truth would be revealed. Better to cover up #corruptiwoc than seek real justice. But it will only increase public distrust of American justice. #makingamurderer #illusionofjustice #brokensystem— Jerome Buting (@JButing) September 9, 2021
State’s response to Avery’s @ZellnerLaw petition opposes SCOW review, claiming SA was not treated differently because his case was “the subject of a television show.”— Jerome Buting (@JButing) September 9, 2021
Really? In no other case has WI fought so desperately to avoid any evidentiary hearing. https://t.co/xa4AdS69zX
It would be difficult for the Wisconsin Judiciary to fall any lower than it has.
The Wisconsin Judiciary has demonstrated that as a branch of government it is no longer an impartial body. Wisconsin courts can be counted on to take the side of corrupt police and dishonest prosecutors no matter how blatant the misconduct in criminal justice litigation.
It is expected in the innocence community that the Democratic-aligned appellate judges — Lisa S. Neubauer and Jeffrey O. Davis — would brush aside state misconduct to politically support Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Joshua Kaul, who work against the innocent.
Both Evers and Kaul are running for reelection in 2022, and a scandal implicating Democratic Party elected officials would likely prove disastrous to the Party, so Party functionaries on the bench and other branches are trying to bury Steven Avery.
Moreover, in the Avery case, Kaul's mother, Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager (2003-2007), was deep into covering for Manitowoc County's misconduct after the first wrongful conviction of Avery. Attorney General Kaul is covering for his Mother's old flacking for crooked police.
Wisconsin's evidence preservation law
One illustration of the DOJ and Democratic judges' perfidy concerns the State's returning the murder victim's remains to the Halbach family, a law enforcement scheme revealed when Avery sought to conduct DNA testing, and found out the bones had been destroyed without notice to him, in violation of Wisconsin's evidence preservation law.
Flaunting the evidence preservation law, in 2011 Calumet County Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Hawkins, Mark Wiegert,and DoJ Attorneys Thomas Fallon and Norman Gahn secretly sneaked the remains of Ms. Halbach, and illegally transported the bones to the Halbach family.
The State previously suggested to the Appellate Court in its Dec. 2018 filing that Avery and Zellner drop their appeal without the State ever having "admitted or disclosed that it had given the bones back to the Halbach family in 2011 [illegally] without notice to Mr. Avery or his counsel," notes Zellner in her Feb. 2019 legal filing.
In other words, law enforcement hid evidence it claims is the murder victim, destroyed this evidence, hid the destruction, lied about the destruction, then claimed the evidence cannot be determined to be exculpatory because it has been destroyed.
In short, the State acted in bad faith at every turn.
Even the prosecutor-biased Judge Angela W. Sutkiewicz acknowledges in 2020 what Zellner uncovered: Writes Sutkiewicz: "The report of Deputy [Jeremy] Hawkins indicates that he, Sergeant Investigator Mark Wiegert, Attorney Thoman Fallon and Attorney Norman Gahn removed materials stored in evidence, and released them to the Halbach family," (p 2).
The Appellate Court hearing the case in July 2021, however, divined, "The Halbach family requested these bone fragments for purposes of its own—likely for closure ... ."
Yet, even the DOJ's Thoman Fallon and Norman Gahn who implemented the scheme disconfirm this attempt by the Court, contriving a State-Halbach family scheme, to cover for illegal evidence destruction.
Fallon and Gahn argue that the evidence they helped destroy was "inexplicably released" from the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department’s evidence control unit, March 29, 2019 legal filing, (p 13).
Fallon and Gahn, in effect, assert Fallon and Gahn cannot explain why they released and destroyed the evidence, and state nothing about the Court-invented 'family did it' offering by the appellate court.
This 'Halbach family did it' invention appears nothing so much as a public signal to the Halbach family to speak up and get on board with the lie of moment.
"Inexplicably released" is of course a disingenuous characterization for the illegal destruction of evidence that not only implicates Fallon, Gahn and Wiegert, but also is a clear violation of the Due Process Clause, and is a Brady violation under Wisconsin judicial doctrine.
Lost in all the Court and DOJ lies is the fact an innocent man is litigating for his very life.