Wisconsin AG asks court to review Dassey ruling

Trevor Jackson
June 24, 2017

The overturned conviction of an inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" is being upheld. The Chicago-based 7th Circuit panel upheld a ruling that overturned his conviction previous year in the case made famous by Netflix's Making a Murderer.

Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in photographer Teresa Halbach's death on Halloween two years earlier. His uncle, Steven Avery, also is serving a life term in connection with the killing.

"We anticipate seeking review by the entire Seventh Circuit or the United States Supreme Court and hope that today's erroneous decision will be reversed", he told new agency Reuters in an email.

"While these tactics might not have overwhelmed a seasoned criminal or a 30-year-old with a law degree, they clearly overwhelmed a 16-year-old, socially avoidant, intellectually limited [youth] who had never been interrogated by the police before", he said.

Duffin ordered Dassey freed in November, but his release was halted while Wisconsin authorities appealed the decision.

In his 24-page dissent, Judge David Hamilton said the majority's decision would burden police and prosecutors' ability to investigate crimes.

At the time of his indictment, Dassey was a 16-year-old sophomore at Mishicot High School with an IQ in the borderline deficiency range.

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"There was no physical evidence linking Dassey to the murder of Halbach - investigators did not find any of Dassey's DNA or blood on any of the many objects that were mentioned in his confession - the knives in Avery's house, gun, handcuffs, bed, RAV4, key, or automotive dolly", the decision states.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has 90 days from the court's ruling to decide whether to re-try the case.

"We are evaluating the 2-1 decision from the court", said Johnny Koremenos, director of communications and public affairs for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. And now it will be up to a Sheboygan County Judge, who's been assigned to the case because the trial judge has retired, to decided whether the motion has any merit. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach.

March 18, 2007: After deliberating for almost 22 hours over three days, jurors convict Avery, now 44, of first-degree intentional homicide and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Dassey is represented by attorneys Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth. Prosecutors base the charges on a videotaped statement in which Dassey detailed the killing, saying he and Avery raped and killed Halbach and burned her body.

"Dassey, however, had trouble maintaining a consistent story except when he was being led step-by-step through the facts, thus confirming that his confession emerged not from his own free will, but from the will of investigators". He was arrested and charged on 3 March 2006 with being party to a first-degree homicide, sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse. Both were sentenced to life in prison.

The case was the subject of the hit docu-series "Making a Murderer", a Netflix production that was released in December 2015.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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