Supreme Court Rejects Making a Murderer Case

Justices decide not to hear appeal by Brendan Dassey, convicted of murder with his uncle
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2018 9:40 AM CDT
Updated Jun 25, 2018 11:20 AM CDT
Supreme Court Rejects Making a Murderer Case
Brendan Dassey appears in court at the Manitowoc County Courthouse in Wisconsin in this 2007 photo.   (Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent, Pool, File)

The Supreme Court is steering clear of a high-profile murder: The justices said Monday they would not hear an appeal of one of two men convicted in a case featured in the Netflix series Making a Murderer, reports ABC7 Chicago. Attorneys for Wisconsin's Brendan Dassey, who was 16 when he confessed to helping his uncle rape and murder a woman, had argued that their young client had limited mental abilities and was coerced into a false confession. No physical evidence ties Dassey to the crime, notes the AP. Dassey, however, was found guilty in 2005 of helping Steven Avery kill Teresa Halbach, only to see lower courts reverse, then reinstate his conviction. The Supreme Court decision, announced without elaboration, leaves the conviction in place. Dassey and Avery are now serving life sentences.

“We will continue to fight to free Brendan Dassey," says one of his attorneys, Laura Nirider, who the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes is also co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University. "Brendan was a 16-year-old with intellectual and social disabilities when he confessed to a crime he did not commit." But Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said he is "pleased" with the development, adding that "we hope the family and friends of Ms. Halbach can find comfort in knowing this ordeal has finally come to a close." That may be overstating things: Avery, who insists he was framed, continues to try to have his conviction overturned as well, and a second season of Making a Murderer is being planned. (More Making a Murderer stories.)

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