Posted at 4:30 p.m. on March 3, 2022
The Brillion News
MADISON – Two attorneys are asking Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers to use his powers of clemency to free Brendan Dassey from state prison for the murder of Teresa Halbach of St. John.
In a letter dated March 2, attorneys Dean Strang and Jerome Buting said that Dassey “has spent half his life in prison for a crime he did not commit.”
The two lawyers did not represent Dassey at trial, but defended Dassey’s uncle, Steven Avery, for the murder of the freelance photographer.
The letter said Dassey confessed to involvement in the crime in a statement that “resulted from trickery by seasoned police officers.”
The letter said the courts failed to correct the conviction based on injustice.
“That leaves executive clemency, which exists to correct injustice when courts won’t or can’t,” the letter said.
The letter faulted Evers for issuing a record number of pardons, but failing to use his clemency powers.
“By refusing to consider commutation, you have neglected thousands of Wisconsin prisoners with unfair convictions (many were), exemplary rehabilitation (some can show that), or sentences simply too harsh (many, maybe most, are),” the letter said. “In all, by abdicating a constitutional power of your office, you failed a duty to the people you serve.”
Strang is author of a 2013 book titled Worse Than The Devil: Anarchists, Clarence Darrow, And Justice In A Time Of Terror, published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
Buting wrote the book Illusion of Justice, about the Avery case. It was published in 2017 by HarperCollins.