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Wisconsin prosecutors appeal "Making a Murderer" Brendan Dassey's overturned conviction

By
Sarah Mulé
Brendan Dassey will remain in prison pending the results of an appeal by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Dassey's murder conviction was overturned by a federal judge in August. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Corrections
Brendan Dassey will remain in prison pending the results of an appeal by the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Dassey's murder conviction was overturned by a federal judge in August. Photo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Corrections

MADISON, Wis., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Brendan Dassey, whose murder conviction was overturned by a federal judge, will remain in jail pending an appeal from Wisconsin's Department of Justice, officials said.

Dassey's involvement in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach was questioned in the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer. The series insinuated Dassey's confession to the crime was coerced by detectives who took advantage of then 16-year-old Dassey's low IQ, and questioned him without a parent present.

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"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," said Federal Magistrate William Duffin on Aug. 12 in his 91-page decision to overturn Dassey's conviction.

Brad Schimel, Wisconsin's attorney general, appealed Duffin's decision on Friday. Dassey will remain in prison pending the outcome.

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"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.

Dassey's legal team said they will continue to defend their client.

"We are disappointed in the state's decision to prolong Brendan's case by seeking an appeal," The Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University in Chicago, which is representing Dassey, said. "We look forward to continuing to defend his rights in court. Like Brendan, we remain grateful to his many supporters for their continued loyalty and strength."

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Dassey's uncle, Steven Avery, was also convicted in the murder and is seeking to overturn his conviction. He is currently serving a sentence of life with no parole.

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