A court a level below the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Making a Murderer‘s Brendan Dassey and approved an appeal that stated he was coerced into a false confession. Dassey is now slated to be a free man, that is, unless prosecutors retry him or appeal to the Supreme Court. A spokesperson for Wisconsin Atty. Gen. Brad Schimel confirmed on Thursday that they will take action against the appeal decision.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for Wisconsin Atty. Gen. Brad Schimel, confirmed that they plan to “seek a review” by the U.S. Supreme Court or the full 7th district court, or they will retry Dassey. They have 90 days to decide whether they’ll retry him.
— Steve Chamraz (@TMJ4Steve) June 22, 2017
“We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr. Dassey to relitigate his guilty verdict and sentence,” Koremenos said.
Dassey’s lawyer, Laura Nirider, of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University, said that they’ll do whatever is legally possible to ensure that Dassey is released from prison and returns home to his family. The director of the center, Steven Drizin, hopes that Dassey’s successful appeal shows that interrogating a 16-year-old is not the same as interrogating an adult.
— Shaun Attwood (@shaunattwood) June 22, 2017
“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.”
— Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) June 23, 2017
Dassey, along with his uncle, Steven Avery, have been in prison for the past 10 years after they were convicted of killing freelance photographer, Teresa Halbach. The popular Netflix docu-series, Making a Murderer, showed portions of Dassey’s interview with Wisconsin detectives, which caused a worldwide uproar after viewers thought the then-16-year-old was fed information by authorities and in turn, coerced into falsely confessing that he raped Halbach and helped his uncle dispose of her body.
Prosecutors in the case contend that Dassey was not coerced and that the documentary was in extremely one-sided and biased in favor of Avery and Dassey. Ken Kratz, the prosecuting attorney in the case and author of the book, Avery: The Case Against Steven Avery and What “Making a Murderer” Gets Wrong, wrote that not only was Dassey “by any measure of the evidence, stone guilty,” but that he could have saved Halbach’s life but instead, decided to rape her and help Avery kill her.
Check back with Crime Online as additional information becomes available.
[Feature Photo: AP/Eric Young, Pool]