Dassey case stirs national debate on confessions

It will be months — if not years — before Brendan Dassey’s fate is determined by the criminal justice system, but the controversial case has already made a national impact. “This is a big case,” said Marsha Levick deputy director and chief counsel of the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia. “It has received a tremendous amount of attention; millions of people saw it unfold.” Dassey’s conviction in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach has been the subject of intense scrutiny since the December 2015 release of the ultra-popular Netflix docu-series “Making a Murderer.” The conviction was overturned by a federal judge last August, but Dassey has remained in prison while the Wisconsin Department of

Judges question investigators' conduct in Brendan Dassey 'Making a Murderer' case

CHICAGO – Guessing how federal appeals court judges will rule based on the questions they ask in a hearing is more parlor game than science. Nevertheless, an attorney for the state of Wisconsin had barely started his argument Tuesday that Brendan Dassey's murder conviction should be reinstated when Judge Ilana Rovner stopped him cold. Rovner wanted to know if Dassey, convicted in the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, would have concluded he could go home after answering questions by investigators, instead of being arrested. After all, he was a low-IQ, "extremely suggestible" 16-year-old, she noted. Wisconsin's deputy solicitor general, Luke Berg, was firm in his response: No specif

Attorney Alex Flynn on Brendan Dassey Confession: "It Gives Me Great Uncertainty"

Milwaukee - Lawyers for the state and Brendan Dassey of "Making a Murderer" fame argued before an appeals court Tuesday. At stake, Dassey's release from custody after his conviction was overturned in connection with the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Dassey and his Uncle Steven Avery, who is serving time after his murder conviction, were the subject of a netflix documentary "Making A Murderer" which raises questions about law enforcement conduct. Well known defense Attorney Alex Flynn is not part of the Dassey team but is well versed on the case and offered analysis on the CBS 58 News at Four. Flynn says the strongest part of the state's case is Habeus Corpus law which require

'Making a Murderer' defendant Brendan Dassey given cause for hope by Chicago court

Brendan Dassey, left, listens to testimony Jan. 19, 2010, at the Manitowoc County Courthouse in Manitowoc, Wis. Dassey, whose homicide conviction was overturned in a case profiled in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer" was ordered released Nov. 14, 2016, from federal prison while prosecutors appeal. Dassey's supervised release was not immediate and is contingent upon him meeting multiple conditions. (Sue Pischke / AP) Could Brendan Dassey — the intellectually challenged defendant whose story is told in Netflix's documentary series "Making a Murderer" — be getting out of prison soon? A hearing Tuesday in front of a three-judge panel of Chicago's 7th Circuit U.S. Appeals Court may just give

Federal judges hear Brendan Dassey’s case for freedom

CHICAGO (WBAY) – A federal appeals court in Chicago will decide the fate of “Making A Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey after hearing arguments from both sides Tuesday morning. Dassey’s attorney Laura Nirider and Wisconsin Department of Justice prosecutor Luke Berg presented their arguments in front of a panel of three judges on Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Emily Matesic of Action 2 News sat in on the hearing. Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were convicted in separate trials for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County. Their cases gained international attention following the Netflix release of a documentary series “Making a Murderer.” In August, federal judge William Duff

Chicago appeals court to consider Brendan Dassey conviction in 'Making a Murderer' case

Chicago -- A lawyer for the State of Wisconsin will have 20 minutes Tuesday to persuade a federal appeals court to reinstate Brendan Dassey’s conviction in what has become known worldwide as the “Making a Murderer” case. And if ultimately the lawyer doesn’t succeed, the state will have to decide whether to put Dassey on trial again. A quick review: Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted in separate trials of the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. The charred remains of the 25-year-old photographer were found outside of Avery’s Manitowoc County home. Both are serving life terms in prison, although Dassey will become eligible for parole. The case was the subject of “Making a Murderer,”

Appellate court takes up 'Making a Murderer' inmate's case

CHICAGO A federal appeals court will consider the fate of a Wisconsin inmate featured in the Netflix series "Making a Murderer." Brendan Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 in the death of photographer Teresa Halbach two years earlier. Dassey told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach in the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard. A federal magistrate judge overturned Dassey's conviction in August. He ruled that investigators took advantage of Dassey's youth — he was 16 at the time — and cognitive problems to coerce his confession. The state of Wisconsin argues that detectives did nothing wrong. Dassey, now 27, has remained in prison pending the

Federal court hears arguments in Brendan Dassey’s case Tuesday

CHICAGO (WBAY) – After his murder conviction was overturned back in August, Brendan Dassey’s case will be heard Tuesday morning in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were both convicted for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. Their cases gained international attention following the Netflix release of a documentary series “Making a Murderer” in December, 2015. Attorneys for both sides will be given 20 minutes to argue their case, with the possibility of the State receiving an extra five minutes for rebuttal. Green Bay attorney Tricia Nell, who argued a discrimination case in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals about 10 years ago, describe

Brendan Dassey's freedom hinges on U.S. Court of Appeals hearing

(Herald Times Reporter/Eric Young via AP, Pool) CHICAGO -- (WLUK) - The fate of convicted killer Brendan Dassey is in the hands of the U. S. Court of Appeals in Chicago. The court will hear arguments Tuesday morning to decide whether Dassey's conviction should be overturned. Dassey along with his uncle Steven Avery were convicted in separate trials in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. The successful prosecution of then 17-year-old Brendan Dassey in adult court hinged on Dassey's own words during several videotaped confessions. Dassey was interrogated by investigators without his lawyer or another adult representative present. That confession helped authorities piece together the case agains

Dassey supporters eagerly await Valentine's Day

"Making a Murderer" Valentine's Day cards don't appear to be making the rounds this year, but that doesn't mean supporters aren't eagerly awaiting Feb. 14. On Tuesday, oral arguments in Dassey's case will be presented to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. The panel of judges will hear arguments from the Wisconsin Department of Justice and from Dassey's attorney, Laura Nirider, on Dassey's overturned conviction. Dean Strang, one of the defense attorneys for Dassey's uncle, Steven Avery, told TMJ4 he's been "deeply unsettled" by Dassey's conviction. As for the appeal, the final decision is "anyone's guess," he said. In a separate story in the Law Society Gazette, Str


Law School team wins appeal on behalf of Brendan Dassey, the Wisconsin teen whose case came to light in Netflix documentary. During law school at Northwestern in the late 2000s, Laura Nirider signed up for a clinical class on wrongful convictions. One day her professor, Steven Drizin, asked for a student to help him with an appeal. Nirider, who says she had neither experience nor interest in the criminal justice system before she took the class, “was the nearest student,” she jokes, “and that’s how I became involved in the case … that literally changed my life.” Eight years later, on Aug. 12, 2016, Drizin and Nirider finally won their appeal. Drizin ’86 JD, a clinical professor of law and as

'Making a Murderer,' and the Huge Problem of False Youth Confessions "The tactics that

Much of the conversation around Making a Murderer, the sensationally popular Netflix documentary series that came out last month, has revolved around the question of guilt or innocence. The filmmakers portrayed a miscarriage of justice at every level, from the police officers who repeatedly showed up to a crime scene they weren't involved with, to the prosecutor who said it "shouldn't matter whether or not" evidence was planted. And while the question of "Did he or didn't he?" is keeping viewers' attention, the real value of Making a Murderer is how it reveals that whether or not Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey are guilty, the criminal justice system was not equipped to give them a fair tria

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