Brendan Dassey vs. Michael Dittman 7th Circuit Court of Appeals – Oral Arguments February 14th 2017

Judge Rovner: Good morning everyone, our first case of the day is 163397, Brendan Dassey vs. Michael Dittman, and good morning Mr.Berg. Luke Berg: May I please the court? Brendan Dassey chose to confess, to release those terrible images of Teresa Halbach, that were haunting him. The investigators encouraged him to get it out, but did not imply any improper pressure. Judge Rovner: Mr. Berg, help me with this, if a police officer says to someone who is being interrogated let’s get it all out today and this will be all over, I have a two-part question for you. The first part is what would the average person think this means, would that person think I can go home it’s done now the second

'Making a Murderer' Defense Attorney on Broken Justice System

On Feb. 14, a federal appeals court in Chicago heard arguments in the appeal of Brendan Dassey. Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery have been serving life sentences since 2007 for the murder of Teresa Halbach.Their trials were seen by millions in the 10-part Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer.” Avery has a new lawyer from Chicago who is looking into fresh scientific testing to overturn his conviction. Meanwhile, a new book by Jerry Buting, Avery’s former defense attorney, goes inside their cases and others like them to examine the criminal justice system, which he says is badly in need of reforms. “What happened to Avery is not unique,” said Buting. His book is called “Illusion of J

Fifty Years Later, In re Gault Continues to Inspire

No United States Supreme Court decision has meant more to me during my life as a lawyer than In re Gault. Gault has been a constant companion of mine for almost thirty-five years. Not only did it inspire me in law school to become a juvenile defender, but it still inspires me today, informing my scholarship and casework on false confessions, including the case of Brendan Dassey, the 16-year-old boy whose confession to a murder and rape was featured in NETFLIX’s Making a Murderer. In May, Gault will turn 50. It’s time for me to repay the debt I owe to Gault. This essay is a down payment on that debt. Gerald Gault was a fifteen-year-old Arizona boy who was arrested in 1964 for making obscene p

Security, law enforcement react to change in U.S. interrogation technique

The Reid Method has been a staple of American interrogation tactics since the 1970s. An interrogator subscribing to this technique corners the suspect in a very small room, which signals that the interrogator is the suspect’s only way out; insists on the suspect’s guilt; and creates a “theme,” or a tale that fits the facts of the case as the interrogator knows them at that moment. Recently, however, researchers have conducted many scientific inquiries into elements of the Reid technique and found it wanting. After Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, Inc. (WZ), a provider of interview and interrogation training for loss prevention, security and law enforcement, announced earlier this week that

The Seismic Change in Police Interrogations

A major player in law enforcement says it will no longer use a method linked to false confessions. Wicklander-Zulawski & Associates, a consulting group that says it has worked with a majority of U.S. police departments, said Monday it will stop training detectives in the method it has taught since 1984. "Confrontation is not an effective way of getting truthful information," said Shane Sturman, the company's president and CEO. “This was a big move for us, but it's a decision that's been coming for quite some time. More and more of our law enforcement clients have asked us to remove it from their training based on all the academic research showing other interrogation styles to be much less ri

A Look Back on False Confessions

On Tuesday February 21, 2017 Steven Drizin visited John Carroll University's Dolan Science Center as one of our guest speaker for this semester. Drizin is a lawyer who does research on wrongful convictions and false confessions. This is a recount of Drizin's discussion, as well as a background of his involvement with the court case focused on in Making a Murderer. During summer 2016, a docu-series came out on netflix called Making a Murderer. This program is all about Steven Avery’s murder trial. Brendan Dassey is Steven’s nephew, who gave a false confession that he murdered Teresa Halbach. According to The Association Press, “A timeline of events in the Brendan Dassey case,” “On March 2, 20

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Site Design & Administration: T.Keogh on Behalf of Brendan Dassey