Subject of 'Making a Murderer' doc asks Supreme Court to hear his case

Subject of 'Making a Murderer' doc asks Supreme Court to hear his case

Lawyers for Brendan Dassey, the subject of the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer,” filed a petition Tuesday asking the Supreme Court to hear his case that his confession was obtained illegally.

Dassey was convicted in 2007 of murder for his role in the killing of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wis., and sentenced to life in prison. Halbach’s body was found on the property of Dassey’s uncle, Stephen Avery, who was also convicted in the killing. 

The primary evidence used against him, his lawyers said, was a videotaped confession taken when he was 16 years old. During the interrogation, officers appear to give Dassey information about the crime that he was unable to produce himself.

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Dassey, who is now in his late 20s, has intellectual and social limitations that have been overlooked in previous rulings, his lawyers said.

“Too many courts around the country, for many years, have been misapplying or even ignoring the Supreme Court’s instructions that confessions from mentally impaired kids like Brendan Dassey must be examined with the greatest care,” attorney Steven Drizin said in a statement.

“Interrogation tactics which may not be coercive when applied to an adult can overwhelm children and the mentally impaired,” he added. 

Dassey’s case drew widespread attention after it was featured in the Netflix series released in late 2015. A petition asking then-President Obama to pardon Dassey and Avery garnered more than 100,000 signatures.

A Wisconsin federal court overturned Dassey’s conviction in 2016, ruling his confession was illegally coerced. However, the Court of Appeals reversed that decision last December by a 4-3 vote.