Lee Newspapers MADISON - Dismayed by the miscarriage of justice that robbed Steven Avery of 18 years of freedom for a crime he didn't commit, lawmakers quickly convened an "Avery Task Force" to examine ways to prevent wrongful convictions and invited him to testify.
On Nov. 1, a day after freelance photographer Teresa Halbach disappeared, "The Avery bill" unanimously passed both houses of the Legislature.
Now that human remains have turned up at the salvage yard Avery's family owns, and Avery has been arrested on a weapons charge, lawmakers have been knocked on their heels. The bill's lead author, Rep. Mark Gundrum, R-New Berlin, said the bill would no longer be referred to by its original name out of respect for Halbach's family. "It's now just the `criminal justice reforms
bill,' " he said.
Gov. Jim Doyle now will probably quietly approve it.