‘Making a Murderer’ Brendan Dassey’s ‘coerced’ confession will stand

A confession that some claim illegitimately put an intellectually challenged young man behind bars in a high-profile murder case will be upheld.

CNN reports that a federal court of appeals has ruled that Brendan Dassey’s confession that he assisted his uncle Steven Avery in the murder of Theresa Halbach will stand.

Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in a decision that hinged largely on his detailed confession, which he later retracted as his defense team argued it was coerced. Dassey, who was 16 at the time of the murder, reportedly has an IQ in the “low-to-borderline” range.

Halbach’s murder and Avery’s trial were chronicled in the Netflix series Making a Murderer.

According to CNN, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday to uphold the confession in a 4-3 vote.

“Dassey spoke with the interrogators freely, after receiving and understanding Miranda warnings, and with his mother’s consent,” Judge David Hamilton reportedly wrote in the opinion to uphold the confession.
“The interrogation took place in a comfortable setting, without any physical coercion or intimidation, without even raised voices, and over a relatively brief time. Dassey provided many of the most damning details himself in response to open-ended questions.”
The dissenting judges wrote that they believe the confession was coerced.
“Dassey was subjected to myriad psychologically coercive techniques but the state court did not review his interrogation with the special care required by Supreme Court precedent,”
Judge Ilana Rovner wrote.
“His confession was not voluntary and his conviction should not stand, and yet an impaired teenager has been sentenced to life in prison.”
Dassey’s uncle is also serving a life sentence in prison and has asked for a new trial, claiming he was falsely convicted.
[Feature image: Associated Press]