Did you know that in the state of Wisconsin, children as young as 10 may be tried as adults for first-or second degree intentional or first degree reckless homicide? Or that the state does not specify that a juvenile has the right to an attorney or parental presence during interrogation? Wisconsin's lack of protection for juveniles navigating the states justice system reduces transparency, and raises doubts about the voluntariness of authentic confessions for all juveniles.
Wisconsin is also firmly entrenched among the many states who do not offer specific Miranda warnings for juveniles, unlike Pennsylvania for example who legislated that 'a child's waiver of Miranda is usually not effective if the child hasn't first consulted with an interested and informed parent or adult.'
However, December 2005 saw the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Wisconsin State Legislature codify Jerrell¹ for juvenile cases making the audio and audio and visual recording of custodial interrogations mandatory when an individual is suspected of committing a felony.
Availing of this new legislation Brendan’s March 1st (coerced) confession was one of the first recorded in Wisconsin. This recording has given profile to the text book coercion endured by Brendan at the hands of Calumet County Sheriff Sgt Mark Wiegert, Wisconsin DOJ investigator Tom Fassbender and the archaic and accusatory REID Technique.
Subsequently, as a result of a Habeas Corpus petition filed by Brendan’s post litigation team, Federal Magistrate, Judge William E Duffin from the Eastern District of Wisconsin was highly critical of the investigators in his affirmative opinion:
“These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments”
“Especially when the investigators’ promises, assurances, and threats of negative consequences are assessed in conjunction with Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, lack of experience in dealing with the police, the absence of a parent, and other relevant personal characteristics, the free will of a reasonable person in Dassey’s position would have been overborne,” wrote Duffin.
Brendan’s coerced and false confession is currently at the heart of his appeal sitting with the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago alongside his motion under Sullivan for ‘Ineffective Assistance of Counsel’. If there was ever a ‘fruit of the poisonous tree’ one could surmise that Kachinsky, O’Kelly, Wiegert and Factbender have tasted that fruit in their systematic and flagrant abuse of Brendan’s constitutional rights.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We ask that you join us in support of Brendan Dassey at:
We ask that you support Brendan’s mother Barbara Tadych in her quest to ensure that juveniles are protected under law in the state of Wisconsin by signing the ‘Juvenile Interrogation Protection Law In Wisconsin: https://www.change.org/p/wisconsin-state-house-please-pass-juvenile-interrogation-protection-law-in-wisconsin
If Brendan had lived in Pennsylvania this would not have been his tale. I'm guessing Playstation 4 and Chili would have been more defining.
¹See State v. Jerrell C.J., 2005 WI 105.
¹See 2005 Wisconsin Act 60.