Federal Court Rules Against ‘Making a Murderer’s’ Brendan Dassey

A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison.

The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was sentenced to life in prison after telling investigators he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.

Upon review, the 4-to-3 opinion concluded that claims Dassey wasn’t tricked into confessing were reasonable. “The state courts’ finding that Dassey’s confession was voluntary was not beyond fair debate, but we conclude it was reasonable,” their 39-page ruling said.

In her dissent, Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner wrote, “His confession was not voluntary and his conviction should not stand, and yet an impaired teenager has been sentenced to life in prison. I view this as a profound miscarriage of justice.”

Another dissenting judge, Chief Judge Diane P. Wood, wrote, “Without this involuntary and highly unreliable confession, the case against Dassey was almost nonexistent.”

A federal judge overturned Dassey’s conviction last year, ruling that Wisconson courts failed to consider Dassey’s age — he was 16 at the time of the confession — and his learning disabilities when they rejected his earlier appeals.

Dassey, now 27, has remained in prison while the state appealed.

The case of Halbach’s death drew national attention when Netflix aired “Making a Murderer” in 2015. The 10-part series questioned whether Avery and Dassey were innocent or guilty.

More TV

  • PBS logo

    PBS Sets New Shows '#MeToo Now What?,' 'Native America,' 'Great American Read'

    A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison. The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was […]

  • Facebook Watch Chief Talks Early Lessons

    Facebook Watch Chief Talks Early Lessons From Video Push, Unveils 3 New Shows

    A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison. The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was […]

  • USC Scripter Awards Finalists 2018: 'Wonder

    'Wonder Woman,' 'Lost City of Z,' 'Big Little Lies' Among USC Scripter Finalists

    A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison. The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was […]

  • THE BACHELOR - ÒEpisode 2203Ó Ð

    TV Ratings: 'Bachelor,' 'Good Doctor' Lead Strong Night on Broadcast

    A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison. The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was […]

  • Nicky Jam performs "El Amante" at

    NATPE Roundup: Sony Pictures TV Teams With Tegna, Telemundo Nabs Nicky Jam Series

    A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison. The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was […]

  • Upright Citizens Brigade Marches in to

    Upright Citizens Brigade Marches in to Help Madison Avenue

    A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison. The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was […]

  • Blade Runner 2049

    'Blade Runner 2049,' 'Game of Thrones' Lead Visual Effects Society Nominations

    A Chicago federal appeals court overturned a ruling Friday that could have freed Wisconsin inmate, Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey, from prison. The full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals analyzed Dassey’s claims that detectives manipulated him into confessing that he took part a crime he didn’t commit. In 2007, Dassey was […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content