Federal Judges Affirm That ‘Making A Murderer’ Defendant Brendan Dassey’s Confession Was Coerced

A three-judge federal appeals panel ruled in the favor of Brendan Dassey on Thursday, affirming last summer’s decision that saw the Making a Murderer co-subject have his murder conviction overturned.

The panel ruled 2-1 that to uphold the decision made by Federal Magistrate William Duffin in August 2016. Dassey, who was convicted in the murder of Teresa Halbach and sentenced to life in prison, was found to have been coerced by investigators into a confession. Duffin determined that false promises made in the interrogation process were a violation of Dassey’s constitutional rights. (Dassey’s uncle and de facto Netflix co-star Steven Avery was also convicted in Halbach’s murder.)

Despite the win, the panel’s ruling does not guarantee Dassey an immediate escape from the appeals process. Just like how the 2016 ruling led to Thursday’s federal appeals panel decision, there is the prospect of a future appeal to the the U.S. Supreme Court or the state of Wisconsin re-trying Dassey within a 90-day window. A spokesperson for Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel indicated that they’re prepared (if disappointed) to continue the legal battle.

“We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr. Dassey to re-litigate his guilty verdict and sentence,” said spokesman Johnny Koremenos.

The ruling is currently available in full online.

(Via The Detroit News & USA Today)