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Dassey's brother reacts to coerced confession ruling

Dassey's brother reacts to coerced confession ruling

Brendan Dassey, one of two men whose case was profiled in the highly addictive Netflix documentary "Making A Murderer," is close to getting released in prison.

Dassey was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.

Making a Murderer investigated the killing of Ms Halbach, whose charred remains were found at Avery's auto salvage yard a week after she went there to photograph a minivan for sale, and the subsequent court cases.

But a lower court concluded previous year that investigators improperly obtained the confession from Dassey, who was 16 at the time.

When considered with "Dassey's age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult", he considered the confession coerced.

The state of Wisconsin could appeal to the US Supreme Court or retry their case against Dassey.

"While these tactics might not have overwhelmed a seasoned criminal or a 30-year-old with a law degree, they clearly overwhelmed a 16-year-old, socially avoidant, intellectually limited [youth] who had never been interrogated by the police before", he said.

"As of today, Brendan has been locked up for 4,132 days", one of his attorneys, Laura Nirider, told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

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Detectives also gave Dassey fatherly assurances, the opinion states.

"Because of the cumulative effect of these coercive techniques - the leading, the fact‐feeding, the false promises, the manipulation of Dassey's desire to please, the physical, fatherly assurances as (Investigator Mark) Wiegert touched Dassey's knee etc. - no reasonable court could have any confidence that this was a voluntary confession", she wrote. Millions of Americans were captivated when the murder, resultant investigations and subsequent trials were documented in the Netflix feature "Making a Murderer" a year ago.

Dassey is still in prison but he may have a retrial or could be released in 90 days.

Calumet County Prosecutor Ken Kratz called a news conference shortly after investigators secured the confession, saying that Dassey described in detail Halbach's brutal assault and slaying.

The majority opinion states, "Dassey's interview could be viewed in a psychology class as a flawless example of operant conditioning". An appeal by the state justice department has kept him behind bars since.

In a joint statement, Dassey's lawyers said they were "overjoyed". That court said Dassey, now 27, should be freed, but put a hold on his release pending the appeal.

Anyone who has watched the Netflix series based on this case has seen Dassey's original "confession" with their own eyes, and it's hard to deny just how flimsy it all seemed.

WBAY spoke with Bob Dvorak, an attorney who's been part of Dassey's post-conviction team.


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