By Isabella Fraser
This may seem like an unusual fit for the Fringe: it is an interview session with a real defence attorney from the States, Jerry Buting, led by Dr Gemma Flynn who lectures on Criminology at the University of Edinburgh. Buting’s background however, is what brings the packed audience to the conversation and reflects the nation’s interest in real life crime.
Netflix, the entertainment streaming service which is known world-wide, ran a documentary series called Making a Murderer which focussed on a real life murder case in the US. Jerry Buting was one of the attorneys for Steven Avery, the accused, who had previously been released from a wrongful conviction and then later convicted of a murder which is currently being appealed. The case has received a great deal of media coverage and engendered a great deal of debate in both the media and with the public.
Buting is an interesting and sympathetic interviewee. He is not judgmental in his answers but comes across as open and earnest. He discusses not only his experience in this case, but helps to elaborate on some of the differences between the American justice system and the UK system, including the appeals processes, how law officials are elected and what that may mean in different states, as well as differing interview techniques applied by the police in speaking with suspects and the nuances involved in media reporting. These are areas which it is clear Buting could discuss for much longer than the time allocated to the show.
The audience from any given day is given the opportunity to ask questions in advance of the show. This allows not only those watching to have their own questions answered, but also to ensure that the show is different every day. Such is the curiosity for this case that there are a great deal of questions to explore. Buting explains this by saying that there is thirst for justice everywhere: the packed audience is a good indicator of this. A great show for real life crime buffs.
Making a Murderer: A Conversation with Defence Attorney Jerry Buting, runs @ 21:10 @ the New Town Theatre until 13/08/17. Running time I hour.