Letter from ‘experts’ calls for clemency for Dassey

Posted at 2:35 p.m. on October 24, 2019 The Brillion News MILWAUKEE – Advocates of clemency for Brendan Dassey, one of the two people convicted for the murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach on Halloween of 2005, have filed an open letter addressed to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. The letter has 250 signators and asks the governor to grant Dassey’s petition for executive clemency. Evers has said he would consider requests for pardons and clemency, unlike his predecessor, former Governor Scott Walker. “We call upon you, Governor Evers, to use your sovereign power of executive clemency, whether in the form of a pardon or a commutation, to end the incarceration of Brendan Dassey,” the letter says. The 250 represent a wide range legal experts, including dozens of former prosecutors and senior U.S. government officials, as well as the psychologists who pioneered the study of false confessions, many of the nation’s top juvenile justice experts, leading law enforcement authorities, and exonerees. Among them are 45 current and former state and federal prosecutors; Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld, co-founders of the Innocence Project; and leading psychological experts, including the current President of the American Psychological Association and the psychologists who pioneered the study of false confessions. “Brendan’s case is so much more than just a Netflix series,” said Laura Nirider, co-director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law (CWC) and an attorney representing Dassey. Incarcerated since age 16, Dassey celebrated his 30th birthday on October 19. He is not eligible for parole until 2048, at which time he will be 59 years old. The petition for executive clemency asks Evers to consider both a pardon, which would result in Dassey’s immediate release and the restoration of some of his legal rights, and a commutation, which could result in his immediate release or shorten his sentence and would leave the convictions intact. The arguments for clemency site Dassey’s claims of innocence and the length of his sentence. The Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law is co-directed by Nirider and Steven Drizin. It is a non-profit legal clinic that represents children and teenagers who have been convicted of crimes they claim they didn’t commit. Housing some of the world’s leading experts on interrogations and confessions, the CWC has exonerated nearly 50 individuals. ~ Source: CWCY at Northwestern University

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