×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Making a Murderer’s’ Brendan Dassey Loses Bid to Take Case to Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up the case of Wisconsin teen Brendan Dassey, who was featured in the hit Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer.”

Dassey is serving a life sentence after being convicted along with his uncle, Steven Avery, in separate jury trials for the 2005 rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, WI. The nation’s highest court gave no reason for the denial. Dassey’s attorneys claims that his confession to police was coerced.

The denial means that the Supreme Court will not review the decision on Dassey’s case made by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December. That court voted 4-3 that Dassey’s confession was voluntary.

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.”

In 2015, a federal judge ruled in part that police failed to take Dassey’s age–he was 16 at the time of the murder–and learning disabilities into account when they questioned him, and that therefore his confession was involuntary.

“We would like to extend sincere gratitude to the dozens of former prosecutors, national law enforcement trainers, leading psychological experts, innocence projects, juvenile justice organizations, and law professors who filed amicus briefs in this case and who, along with our legal team, will continue to fight for Brendan and the many other children who have been wrongfully convicted due to the use of coercive interrogation tactics,” said Laura Nirider, one of Dassey’s attorneys.

Avery is still appealing his case. Earlier this month, a Wisconsin Appeals Court remanded his case back to the circuit court where he and his attorney will look to present new evidence.

Avery and Dassey’s cases received worldwide attention in 2015 with the release of “Making a Murderer.” The 10-episode series raised questions about not only Dassey’s confession but also about possible motive on the part of law enforcement to frame Avery for the murder.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • A LITLLE LATE WITH LILLY SINGH

    TV Review: 'A Little Late with Lilly Singh'

    Lilly Singh is well aware of her unique place in late night. After kicking off her first episode with a rap dedicated to the fact that she is not, unlike every other network late-night host, a straight white man, Singh walks out onto her own stage and addresses it with her audience directly. “I get [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Peter Coyote Riffs on 'Country Music' and How He Admires and Challenges Ken Burns

    Though an instantly recognizable face from films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Erin Brockovich,” it is Peter Coyote’s voice — a coolly authoritative baritone with a Zen master’s holy roll — that has endeared him to documentary lovers and makers. Alrhough director-writer Alex Gibney used Coyote’s wisened narration for “Enron: [...]

  • LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 19:

    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Atmosphere71st Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Announcement,

    Emmys: Looking Ahead to 2020, Here Are Some of the Rules That the TV Academy Should Address

    When this year’s Emmy nominations were announced in July, Netflix’s gripping and powerful “When They See Us” earned several well-deserved nods, including limited series, as well as actor (Jharrel Jerome) and directing (Ava DuVernay) for limited series or a movie. It also cleaned up in the limited series supporting actor and actress categories — but [...]

  • Prodigal-Son

    TV Review: 'Prodigal Son'

    Darkness on network TV can feel a bit by-the-book; in order to impress us with how edgy they’re able to be within stricter boundaries than cable and streaming, dramas lard on violence and evil that can feel a bit unmotivated. Which is why “Prodigal Son,” a new Fox drama, is in its first three episodes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content