Prosecutors Seek To Uphold 'Making A Murderer' Confession

The overturned conviction of an inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" is being upheld.

Brendan Dassey confessed to detectives in 2007 that he aided his uncle, Steven Avery, in the rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach in Avery's salvage yard two years prior.

The death of Halbach and the conviction of Avery and Dassey placed Manitowoc County in the national spotlight. The state also has the option of asking the full 7th Circuit Court to review the case, or taking it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Thursday, a panel of three judges ruled against the United States prosecutors' appeal over the ruling that his confession was coerced. He was interrogated without a parent or lawyer present and in Thursday's 2-1 ruling, judges wrote that the "fact-feeding, the false promises, the manipulation of Dassey's desire to please, the physical, fatherly assurances" led to a confession that should not be considered voluntary.

March 2, 2006: Avery's nephew Brendan Dassey, then 16, is charged in adult court with being a party to first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and first-degree sexual assault. "The pattern of questions demonstrates that the message the investigators conveyed is that the "truth" was what they wanted to hear", reads the decision.

The attorney for Dassey's uncle Steven Avery tweeted, "Brendan Won!"

Detectives interviewed Dassey multiple times in the months after Halbach's disappearance.

She contends Avery deserves a new trial "in the interests of justice" and because "the real controversy was never tried", USA Today Network-Wisconsin reported.

WBAY spoke with Bob Dvorak, an attorney who's been part of Dassey's post-conviction team. The state Justice Department eventually appealed the ruling, and Dassey was kept behind bars.

"We are overjoyed for Brendan and his family, and we look forward to working to secure his release from prison as soon as possible", they said in a joint statement.

The majority opinion states, "Dassey's interview could be viewed in a psychology class as a ideal example of operant conditioning". Dassey has been in prison for more than a decade.

Kathleen Zellner in June filed a 1,300-page motion laying out her argument for why her client deserves a new trial.

The documentary recounted how Avery was convicted of an earlier, unrelated rape and sent to prison in 1985, serving 18 years before DNA evidence exonerated him and he was released.

But Dassey's confession, according to the ruling, was "a story crafted by the investigators" and not by him.

Dassey's lawyers, Professors Steven Drizin and Laura Nirider of the Centre on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, commended the judges' decision.

  • Leroy Wright