USA court refuses to free convict featured in 'Making a Murderer'

USA court refuses to free convict featured in 'Making a Murderer'

A federal judge overturned Dassey's conviction past year, ruling that investigators coerced the confession.

This was a key element in Dassey's 2007 conviction for the murder of Teresa Halbach in Wisconsin.

A federal court in Wisconsin previous year found that Dassey, over the course of multiple interviews, had been tricked into confessing - both by police and an unsympathetic private investigator working for his defence attorney. A three-person panel of judges from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that magistrate's decision this summer, but a larger gathering of the court's judges determined this week that Dassey's conviction should be upheld.

A United States appeals court has upheld the conviction of Brendan Dassey, whose case was the focus of the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer.

Dassey's lawyers had argued that their client, then 16, had a learning disability, and that police had coerced him into admitting his involvement in the crime.

But Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner strongly disagreed. "I view this as a profound miscarriage of justice", the Associated Press reports. But state prosecutors appealed, asking for a review by the full circuit, setting the stage for Friday's decision.

In her dissent, Chief Judge Diane P Wood added: 'Without this involuntary and highly unreliable confession, the case against Dassey was nearly nonexistent'. They say the 7th Circuit judges ignored the fundamental idea that false confessions often result when children or the mentally vulnerable are interrogated.

Both Avery and Dassey contend police framed them because they wanted revenge against Avery for filing a lawsuit against Manitowoc County over wrongful imprisonment for a sexual assault he didn't commit.

Halbach's murder was featured in the documentary series Making a Murderer launched in December 2015.

Authorities who worked on the cases said the series was biased.

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