The state of Wisconsin has decided to appeal federal judge William E. Duffin ‘s August 12 decision to overturn Brendan Dassey’s 2007 conviction for the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005. After Judge Duffin’s decision last month, the state was left with three options; free Dassey, take his case back to trial, or appeal the judge’s decision to vacate his conviction.
Brad Schimel, the attorney general in Wisconsin, released a statement on Friday, stating: “We believe the magistrate judge’s decision that Brendan Dassey’s confession was coerced by investigators, and that no reasonable court could have concluded otherwise, is wrong on the facts and wrong on the law. Two state courts carefully examined the evidence and properly concluded that Brendan Dassey’s confession to sexually assaulting and murdering Teresa Halbach with his uncle, Steven Avery, was voluntary, and the investigators did not use constitutionally impermissible tactics.”
Judge Duffin’s thorough 91 page decision details “misconduct” by Dassey’s lawyer, Len Kachinsky, stating that Kachinsky’s behavior while representing Dassey was “indefensible.” The report goes on to say that Dassey’s confession was “involuntary” and was based on “false promises” by interrogators, “Dassey’s age and intellectual deficits.” Time will tell if Judge Duffin’s sound reasoning holds up on appeal.
Dassey’s defense team, led by Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin released a statement today regarding the State’s decision to appeal: “We are disappointed in the State’s decision to prolong Brendan’s case by seeking an appeal. We look forward to continuing to defend his rights in court. Like Brendan, we remain grateful to his many supporters for their continued loyalty and strength.”
The truth is that there is no evidence against Dassey, beyond his statements made to police. He was interrogated at 16-years-old without an attorney present, and he had ineffective counsel, making it impossible for him to receive a fair trial. At the very least, the State should have taken this case back to court. The Attorney General’s move to appeal Judge Duffin’s decision lacks common sense.
All Brendan Dassey can do now is continue to wait, just has he has done for nearly a decade. The wheels of justice turn very slowly. As disappointing as it is for Dassey and all who support him, it is not surprising to see the decision by the State to appeal the ruling that overturned Dassey’s conviction. It is only on very rare occasions that we actually see a prosecutor admit that they might have gotten a case wrong, regardless of any new evidence that is presented. In this case, we are clearly seeing an Attorney General’s outright refusal to admit that the State got it wrong. If justice is properly served, the State’s appeal will be rejected and Dassey will be released.
Please visit FreeBrendan.org to learn more about Brendan Dassey’s case.
You can also visit the Official Free Brendan Dassey Facebook page to view the State’s appeal and to keep up to date on current events moving forward.