Friday 20 July 2018

US Supreme Court won't rule on 'Making a Murderer' case

Brendan Dassey, 16, is escorted out of a Manitowoc County Circuit courtroom in Manitowoc, Wis. in 2006. Photo: AP
Brendan Dassey, 16, is escorted out of a Manitowoc County Circuit courtroom in Manitowoc, Wis. in 2006. Photo: AP

Jessica Gresko in Washington

The US Supreme Court said yesterday it won't weigh in on the case of a teenager convicted of rape and murder whose story was documented in the Netflix series 'Making a Murderer'.

As is typical, the justices did not explain their decision declining to take the case. The justices' decision leaves in place a lower court ruling against Brendan Dassey (28), who is serving life.

Dassey was 16 when he confessed to Wisconsin authorities he had joined his uncle in raping and murdering photographer Teresa Halbach before burning her body in a bonfire. His attorneys, however, say he's borderline intellectually disabled and was manipulated by experienced police officers into accepting their story of how Ms Halbach's murder happened. They wanted his confession thrown out and a new trial.

Wisconsin officials had urged the Supreme Court not to take the case, telling the court it shouldn't second-guess Wisconsin courts' determination that Dassey's confession was voluntary. Prosecutors noted that Dassey's mother gave investigators permission to speak with him, that Dassey agreed and that during the interview investigators used only standard techniques such as adopting a sympathetic tone and encouraging honesty.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said in a statement that his office was "pleased" with the Supreme Court's decision not to take the case. "We hope the family and friends of Ms Halbach can find comfort in knowing this ordeal has finally come to a close."

Dassey's attorneys can still try to get him a new trial but they'd have to convince a judge that newly discovered evidence warrants one. He's eligible for parole in 2048.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News