Brendan Dassey must remain imprisoned while Wisconsin appeals a ruling overturning his conviction, a federal appeals court said. Dassey was a subject in the "Making a Murderer" Netflix documentary. Photo courtesy of Manitowoc Police Department
June 29 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled Brendan Dassey, a subject in the Making a Murderer Netflix documentary series, must remain imprisoned while Wisconsin appeals a ruling overturning his conviction.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Wednesday denied a motion from Dassey's attorneys to lift the stay keeping Dassey in prison, according to court documents obtained by Sinclair Broadcast Group and posted online. The Wisconsin Department of Justice on Monday filed a motion to keep Dassey imprisoned.
The appeals court last week ruled Dassey was coerced into confessing as a teenager and should be released from prison.
In a 2-1 decision on June 22, the appeals court upheld a 2016 ruling by U.S. Magistrate William Duffin that overturned the murder conviction of Dassey. Duffin determined that Dassey's constitutional rights were violated because investigators for the prosecution made false promises during multiple interrogations.
Dassey, who was sentenced to life in prison, said the confession was coaxed out of him by authorities taking advantage of his limited intellect and youth. Dassey said he received the details he provided on photographer Teresa Halbach's rape and murder from a novel he read.
Dassey in early 2006, when he was 16, confessed to the rape and murder of Halbach, whose body was recovered in November 2005. The confession, which he would later recant, was recorded. In 2007, he was convicted on charges including first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse and second-degree sexual assault.
On Aug. 12, 2016, Duffin overturned Dassey's conviction, citing that his confession was "involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments" because the investigators "repeated false promises" to the young and impressionable Dassey.
Steven Avery, the main subject in Making a Murderer and Dassey's uncle, was sentenced to life in prison for his alleged role in the killing.
The 10-episode Making a Murderer series brought attention to Dassey and Avery -- leading to calls for the men's cases to be reopened. In November, a judge approved new testing of several pieces of evidence used to convict Avery.
Dassey 06-28-17 by Sinclair Broadcast Group on Scribd