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U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit: Dassey to stay in prison “pending resolution of this appeal”

MILWAUKEE -- A federal appeals court Thursday, November 17th blocked the release of Brendan Dassey, the teen whose confession became a subplot in Netflix's "Making a Murderer."

The ruling represents a win for Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, who had fought the release.

Now 27, Dassey was set to be freed under the supervision of the US Probation Office, but Schimel filed a motion Tuesday seeking a stay of US Magistrate Judge William Duffin's decision to release Dassey pending the appeal of his 2007 murder conviction.

The Appeals Court decision reads as follows:

"IT IS ORDERED that the appellantʹs motion to stay is GRANTED. The district courtʹs order releasing appellee Brendan Dassey is STAYED pending resolution of this appeal."

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey

In 2005, Dassey, then 16, confessed to authorities that he assisted his uncle, Steven Avery, in raping and killing photographer Teresa Halbach, whose charred remains were found on Avery family property in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

Teresa Halbach

Teresa Halbach

Teresa Halbach

Teresa Halbach

The case was chronicled in the 10-part Netflix series "Making a Murderer," which suggested that investigators took advantage of Dassey's youth and limited intellect to coax him into confessing to a crime he didn't commit.

Court documents stated that Dassey IQ's was "assessed as being in the low average to borderline range." Dassey, now incarcerated in the state's Columbia Correctional Institution, later recanted.

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

In a September motion following a lower court ruling in Dassey's favor, Schimel said two state courts had examined evidence in the case and determined that Dassey's confession was voluntary and not the product of "constitutionally impermissible tactics."

Columbia Correctional Institution

Columbia Correctional Institution

"We believe the magistrate judge's decision that Brendan Dassey's confession was coerced by investigators, and that no reasonable court could have concluded otherwise, is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law," Schimel said in a statement, adding that he had the support of Halbach's family.

Duffin overturned Dassey's conviction in August, citing the manner in which the confession was attained. He called it "so clearly involuntary in a constitutional sense that the court of appeals' decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law."

"The court's decision rests on a fundamental principle that is too often forgotten by courts and law enforcement officers: Interrogation tactics which may not be coercive when used on adults are coercive when used on juveniles, particularly young people like Brendan with disabilities," Dassey's attorneys said in an August statement.

Brendan Dassey

Brendan Dassey

Dassey will stay in prison pending the outcome of the state of Wisconsin's appeal of the magistrate's ruling.

Avery, 54, is serving a life sentence at a Wisconsin prison.

He maintained his innocence throughout his original trial. He said he was framed and is seeking a new trial.

Steven Avery

Steven Avery

 

9 comments

  • Raymond J Johnson

    Brendan and Theresa were victimized by the cops. Lenk and Colborn probably killed Theresa, then Len Kachinski and Brad Schimmel worked to kill Brendan’s life. This is all about money in the Avery civil lawsuit. That’s why Theresa was killed and why Schimmel is so afraid of the truth working in favor of freeing Brendan. Shameful.

      • Raymond J Johnson

        Thanks for your input. Did you watch the police questioning Brendan with your own eyes and ears? I did. It’s clear to anyone not afraid of reprisals from Manitowoc police that the kid was coerced. He had no idea what was going on. Fact is, Teresa’s murder was probably committed by James Lenk and Andrew Colborn.

      • Raymond J Johnson

        Why? Because Avert had a $30m lawsuit against the City of Manitowoc and the city’s insurance company was not going to cover the claim. That was the motive. Whaddaya? Ignorant?

  • steven

    hey a confession does not mean he participated in the crime. its obvious he did not properly understand his rights, and the person interviewing dassey was taking advantage of a situation were dassey could have had many confusing bottled up emotions.

  • Bill G

    Shame on “Judge” William E. Duffin — a true Social Justice Warror. Let’s not release convicted murderers

    Look at what Brad Dassey wrote “Thanks for ruining our holidays Brad.” Wow, just think how the Halbach family is feeling.

    Just because he has “limited intellect” doesn’t mean he isn’t a threat to society. Sorry, people don’t confess to murder if they’re innocence !

    • Raymond J Johnson

      The Halbach family lost a daughter. It’s tragic. But Brendan and S Avery had nothing to do with it. Detective Lenk and Officer Colborn had motive, which Dassey and Avery didn’t, and they had more opportunity than Brendan and Steve. We already know Lenk was motoring the Avery phone the day Theresa went missing and he KNEW she would be on the property, and when

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