- Michelle McCormack
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 requires a very limited view of what can happen.
"It allows for substantial deference that has to be given to state court decision," explained Flynn. "Just because you disagree, doesn't mean you get to overrule it."
The Supreme Court has ruled that police are allowed to lie in order to secure a confession.
In the Dassey proceedings the line was drawn between what's allowed and fraud.
In particular, the times in the interview where the police said they were talking as a father to Dassey rather then an investigator.
Would Dassey at 16 years of age with a low IQ be able to discern a specific promise made in exchange for leniency.
"That's what I think the defense is arguing. 35 instances during interview of 'it'll be okay, it'll be alright, do this, do that, the truth with set you free. These are Implied promises of leniency."
They will have to determine if the 35 little promises made are so little they don't constitute a specific one for leniency.
The judges also asked about physical evidence case.
Flynn sees this as significant since Dassey gave a brutal and violent story about what happened to the victim. And yet there is no forensic link.
"At least two were clearly disturbed by that. This event that he described was bloody and violent, the hair, the scratches. There was not one shred of physical evidence confirms what he says."
Ultimately the judges will have to evaluate if there are any statements where information like that wouldn't be provided anywhere else, either fed to him by the detectives or in the media.
Things the true killer would know.
Flynn says while the public is certainly taking note of police procedures he doesn't see any change in how law enforcement conducts itself.
"It will be instructive. The law does require great care and caution when interviewing juveniles."
Flynn having listened to the court proceedings and the interview itself maintains that he's not convince Dassey willingly admitted guilt.
"It gives me great uncertainty as to the voluntariness of this."