In August, in a surprise decision, federal magistrate judge William E. Duffin ruled that Dassey was manipulated into confessing his alleged role in the 2005 death of Teresa Halbach, with Duffin arguing that Dassey lacked the mental acuity to endure four interrogations. Duffin also cited the “misconduct” on the part of Dassey’s then-attorney as “indefensible” and an “extreme malfunction” of the Wisconsin legal system.
“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,” Attorney General Brad Schimel said Friday following the appeal.
“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 state of Wisconsin had 90 days to appeal the judge’s August 12th decision. Dassey will remain behind bars until the outcome of the appeal, the New York Times reports.
Following his conviction, Dassey began his life in prison sentence at the age of 17; he’ll turn 27 this October.
The overturning of Dassey’s conviction does not directly impact the legal fate of his uncle Steven Avery, who is serving a life imprisonment without parole sentence for his role in the Halbach murder.