Wisconsin's attorney general is appealing a ruling that overturned the conviction of a man accused of helping his uncle kill a woman in a case documented in the Netflix series ``Making a Murderer.''
A federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 12 that investigators used deceptive tactics to coerce Brendan Dassey to confess to helping Steven Avery rape and kill photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005. Dassey was 16 at the time.
Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel's office appealed the ruling to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday. His office filed notice of appeal with the court but documents outlining the state's arguments will come later.
The judge ordered that Dassey be released within 90 days, unless prosecutors appealed or retried him.
Dassey and Avery are serving life sentences.
The full press release:
Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel, on behalf of Warden Michael Dittmann and the State of Wisconsin, filed a notice of appeal in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Dassey v. Dittmann.
On August 12, 2016, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted Brendan Dassey’s petition for writ of habeas corpus. The State of Wisconsin will appeal this decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Per the magistrate’s decision, the Court’s order is stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
“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,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel. “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.”
“The Halbach family has been notified of the appeal and fully supports the State’s decision to seek justice on behalf of their daughter.”
Copies of relevant court filings: