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, describes what Laura Nirider from the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, who is representing Dassey, and Luke Berg, the State’s attorney, are doing in preparation for Tuesday’s hearing.
“They’re doing mock trials really within their own offices of what the justices may ask them about what’s applicable to the case, other cases that are out there, etc.,” said Nell, who is not involved in the Dassey case.
The State petitioned the court to overturn an August ruling that said Dassey’s confession was improperly obtained and his conviction be overturned.
According to Nell, the three justices who will hear arguments Tuesday have already read the briefs submitted by both sides.
While the attorneys will have prepared remarks for their arguments, Nell says they may never speak a word of them as the panel will most likely conduct a question-and-answer session.
“They have in their minds specific questions. They may have decided specific cases already or they have looked at Supreme Court cases that are applicable to the case at hand and want to know how they apply to this, your case or differ,” said Nell.
While the court will hear arguments Tuesday, we’re told it won’t issue a decision until sometime after June.