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Brendan Dassey lawyers petition for his release

28 June, 2017, 18:56 | Author: Mae Harvey
  • 'Making a Murderer' inmate Brendan Dassey should be freed: Federal judges

Lawyers will fight for the release of Brendan Dassey, a prisoner featured in the Making A Murderer series, after judges backed a ruling that he was coerced into confessing.

Attorneys for Brendan Dassey say they are working to get their client released from prison following a bombshell court ruling affirming that Dassey's confession to the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach was coerced by Manitowoc County, Wis. investigators. The amount of gas in Teresa Halbach's Toyota RAV4 when it was found, an unedited video of a police flyover of the Avery salvage yard, and a CD containing a voicemail from Teresa Halbach were withheld, she alleges.

A federal appeals court has ordered the release of Brendan Dassey, 27, who began serving a life sentence 10 years ago for murder.

In a statement, Dassey's lawyers said "In rejecting the State's assertion that Brendan confessed voluntarily, the court acknowledged what many parents already recognize: Brendan's youthfulness and intellectual disability make him particularly vulnerable in the interrogation room". The Wisconsin Department of Justice can appeal the panel decision up the chain of courts and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if they will take the case, according to the Times report.

"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."

Dassey's attorneys are evaluating their next steps to secure his release. She says he's already been in prison for 4,132 days. The state can also choose to re-try Dassey within 90 days.

Dassey's uncle, Steven Avery, is in the process of appealing his own conviction.

One of the two men convicted of murder, as depicted on Netflix's documentary series Making a Murderer, has had his conviction overturned. The US Court of Appeals in Chicago today ruled that his confession that was used to find him guilty of assisting his uncle, Steven Avery, to kill a young woman in 2005 was coerced. The video also shows what appears to be detectives guiding Dassey to the answers they wanted.

If the state does proceed to challenge the ruling, it will mean another lengthy trial for Dassey. Dassey's attorney, on the other hand, called it a "victory".

The state is unlikely to prevail in any further appeals or if it retries the case without his confession, they wrote, but said those appeals could prolong Dassey's time in prison "by months, if not years".


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