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  • Megan Cerullo

Attorneys for 'Making a Murderer' subject Brendan Dassey respond to prosecutors' appeal

Defense attorneys for Wisconsin inmate and “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey have filed a response to the state’s motion to appeal his overturned conviction.

State prosecutors filed a motion Monday seeking to block Dassey’s release from prison.

Prosecutors said they would ask the full 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear Dassey’s case, after a panel of three judges ruled in favor of overturning Dassey’s conviction.

“Dassey’s release pending full resolution of this appeal would harm the public interest, as he has been convicted of rape, murder, and mutilation of a corpse, thereby establishing his dangerousness to the public,” the filing said.

The appeal comes after federal judges ruled to uphold an August 2016 decision to vacate Dassey’s conviction.

Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, are serving life prison sentences for the 2005 rape and murder of Teresa Halbach.

In Tuesday’s filing, Dassey’s attorneys called the state’s effort to block Dassey’s release an “extraordinary step.”

It cites “two written opinions recognizing his entitlement to habeas relief, while the State prepares, files, and litigates a petition for rehearing en banc — an exceedingly rare form of relief that is granted only under the most limited of circumstances and the pursuit of which, particularly in such a fact-bound case, may require many months to resolve.”

“As a sheer matter of statistics, the State is extremely unlikely to prevail on any effort to seek further review,” his attorneys continued.

Dassey’s conviction was overturned after a three-judge federal appeals panel ruled that he was coerced into confessing to a crime, upholding a federal magistrate judge’s ruling that Dassey’s confession had been improperly obtained.


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