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Last Dassey decision tossed out; new appeals hearing set

Posted at 3 p.m. on August 4, 2017

The Brillion News

CHICAGO – The full Seventh Circuit federal Court of Appeals will decide whether a Milwaukee federal magistrate’s decision on Brendan Dassey’s conviction in state courts for the murder of Teresa Halbach will stand.

On Friday, August 4, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an order vacating the decision by three of its judges to uphold Magistrate Judge William Duffin’s ruling that overturned Dassey’s conviction in Manitowoc County Circuit Court.

Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted in 2007 in Manitowoc County Circuit Court of murdering Halbach. A state appeals court upheld the conviction and the state Supreme Court refused to consider overturning the state appeals court.

The Center for Wrongful Conviction of Youth, from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., appealed to federal courts, where Judge Duffin threw out Dassey’s confession and overturned the conviction.

The state Department of Justice (DOJ) then appealed Duffin’s decision to the federal appeals court, which assigned a three-judge panel to hear it. That panel upheld Duffin’s decision. The state DOJ then asked that the entire Seventh Circuit federal Court of Appeals review Duffin’s decision.

The August 4 order granted the DOJ’s request, and the entire federal appeals court will hear the oral arguments from both sides on Tuesday, September 26.

In agreeing to hear the case en banc (i.e. by the entire appeals court instead of the three-judge panel), the decision of the three-judge panel of the federal appeals court was vacated and will be replaced by the ruling from the entire federal appeals court.

Dassey remains in prison in the custody of the state Department of Corrections.

Duffin and the three-judge panel ruled that the police interrogation of Dassey was unconstitutional.



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