Brown County’s Last Comedic Stance…

In an earlier post, I mentioned that a ruling had been reached in the July 2015 evidentiary hearing for Keith Kutska. I also noted that on January 13, 2015, our lead attorney, Steve Kaplan, was contacted by a reporter from the Green Bay Press Gazette, looking for a comment on the ruling. At that time, Kaplan was unaware of the ruling because he had not been informed. The reporter kindly sent him a copy of the official document. Then came the second blow; a denial of further action in the matter. There was not going to be a new trial for Keith Kutska.


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My initial reaction was one of disbelief toward the blatant disrespect of Brown County. My second reaction bore mixed feelings as the reality of the situation set in. After thinking about it, this ruling was expected all along and the opposition was reacting with the same insolence they had displayed throughout the entire process. They were never going to acknowledge defeat. There was never going to be a new trial. Because that would suggest mistakes had been made and there was nothing to be gained by admitting to such incompetency.

However, this denial is not a bad thing for our men. Because of the way the hearing had been conducted, it was clear, even back then, it was never going to end favorably for Keith. In my opinion there seemed to be a tag team dynamic going on between the prosecutor and the judge during the entire ordeal. It was quite revealing to me and most unfortunate for Keith and his family. What was shameful was seeing the current prosecutor and the former Assistant DA involved in the original trial (a father and son team) both sitting at the same table during this hearing.

But in all reality, this ruling is encouraging.. It’ll take the case out of this biased town, away from this ridiculous progression of judicial recourse. It’s now headed for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. I believe that justice lies somewhere in the broader judicial spectrum. Proof of this lies in the first and only exoneration to date in this case which was granted to Michael Piaskowski in 2001 when his case landed in a federal court. A federal judge aptly cited the trial evidence as unsound and labeled it as “conjecture camouflaged as evidence.” It was a big stain on the prosecution’s pristine record.

Michael Piaskowski exonerated in 2001

Michael Piaskowski exonerated in 2001

Photo courtesy of the Green Bay Press Gazette


This document, in my opinion, epitomizes a wide gap between what’s right and what’s wrong with our entire legal process. I’ve been known to say that if these circumstances were not so tragic, they’d almost be laughable. After injesting the hypocrisy in this document, I rest my case.

Here is the complete 29-page document of the ruling from Brown County:



6 thoughts on “Brown County’s Last Comedic Stance…

  1. brad

    this in justice continues in Wisconsin. Joan I was wondering if the Avery case hurts this case as it seems wisconsin protects each other?


  2. Joan Treppa Post author

    Hi Brad. Thanks for your question. I actually think it helps us. The Avery documentary has been viewed beyond the WI borders and has sent up red flags. People are seeing the corruption that takes place and they are now questioning what is going on in that entire State, especially since some very honorable and powerful attorneys are working on Avery’s behalf. I watched the whole series and saw many similarities in both the Avery and Monfils cases. Others are as well. We are really starting to get some outside media attention currently; the latest being NBC news. The Monfils case will also be featured along with other wrongful conviction stories in a documentary that will air on PBS later this year or early next year. So I am not as worried about WI as I used to be. They are losing control…and fast.

    1. brad

      I sure hope so. I am tired of the officials not getting serious sanctions including jail time for their withholding evidence or planting evidence. We are lucky to have people like you who take on these situations.


  3. Marge Jasmer

    Again I applaud you and everyone to is part of the Innocense Project. You give hope and support to those who are powerless to fight for their freedom. One of the telling things about the Monfils case is that I truly believe that if they knew the follow up to Mike’s exoneration they would have moved heaven and hell to prevent his exoneration. It is a sad state of affairs that this tragedy continues in an effort the cover up the blatant and intentional false information that was used to convict these men.

  4. Joan Treppa Post author

    Thank you Marge. Your comments are greatly appreciated. I have been involved in this fight for six years and it amazes me the information that is still surfacing about this case; information that should have been disclosed but was not; information that clearly proves all of the men were framed for a murder that never happened. I’m glad we crossed paths. It is comforting to know good people like you who stand up for what they believe in and are not afraid to do so.


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