Brendan Dassey a Case of Exceptional Importance

In 1967, Justice Abe Fortas and his magnum opus In re Gault transformed loose juvenile court proceedings into formal hearings that afforded children essential rights, forever altering the face of juvenile due process. Not since Gault and Miranda has there been a case so polarising in legal opinion, that the only way forward is new Circuit or Supreme Court precedent. That case is the wrongful conviction of Brendan Dassey. A year ago, today, a Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Magistrate Judge William.E. Duffin granted the petition for Brendan's writ of Habeas Corpus determining Brendan's confession was rendered involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments - citing the Wisc

Rovner Casts Spotlight On One Area Where Courts Have Turned Blind Eye

Last year binge watchers were transfixed by Netflix’s Emmy Award winning documentary “Making a Murderer”. It detailed the story of Steven Avery, a man who was convicted of attempted murder and sexual assault in Wisconsin in 1985. After serving 18 years in prison, he was released when DNA evidence provided exoneration. Yet he returned to criminal court after being charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005. He was then convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.The series exhaustively reviews the evidence against Avery and makes a case that he may have been wrongfully convicted. Yet the series also details the equally compelling story of the co-defendant, Avery’s 16-year-old nephew B

Entire 7th Circuit court will rehear the ‘Making a Murderer’ appeal

Brendan Dassey is escorted out of a Manitowoc County Circuit courtroom, in Manitowoc, Wis., in 2006. (Morry Gash/Associated Press) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit announced Friday that it will rehear Dassey v. Dittmann en banc, which is to say before all eight active judges (plus, I believe, the senior judge who was on the panel), rather than just (as in the initial decision) before a three-judge panel. The earlier 2-to-1 decision, which will now be reconsidered, concluded that Brendan Dassey’s confession was involuntary and that it was thus unconstitutional to admit it at trial. Here’s an excerpt from Kristine Phillips’s Washington Post story on the earlier decision: The young

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