Making of a Murderer Convict Gives First Interview

It's part of Brendan Dassey's clemency strategy
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2019 4:50 PM CDT
Making of a Murderer Convict Seeks Clemency
Laura Nirider, an attorney for convicted murderer Brendan Dassey whose story was told on the Netflix series "Making a Murderer," describes his application for a pardon submitted to Wisconsin's governor on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Madison, Wis.   (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)

Brendan Dassey is turning to Wisconsin's governor for help. The 29-year-old, who's serving a life sentence in a photographer's killing, is asking Gov. Tony Evers to commute his sentence—something no Wisconsin governor has done in a very long time, the AP reports. But Dassey's lawyers say he's intellectually impaired and had a confession coerced out of him by police interrogators when he was 16. "What we're hoping to do is to take this moment to ask the governor to hold off, to look at this case as a perfect example for that kind of relief," says Dassey's attorney, Laura Nirider. The crime was portrayed in the popular Netflix series Making a Murderer.

Nirider was joined by team including educators and a clemency expert in making the case Wednesday in Madison, per the New York Times. "It's really a coalition of voices that are calling on the governor just to take a close review of this case—watch the videotapes, read the records," said Nirider. Many fans of the Netflix series still debate the guilt of Steven Avery—Dassey's uncle, who also got life—but Dassey's impairments and apparent confusion during interrogation made him a sympathetic figure. "They got me to say whatever they wanted," says Dassey in a podcast that marks his first audio interview. The last Wisconsin governor to issue a commutation was Tommy Thompson, who reigned from 1987 to 2001. (Meanwhile, an alleged confession in the case has emerged.)

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