UPDATED: Judge orders Dassey released on Friday

Posted at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016

The Brillion News

MILWAUKEE – Federal Judge William E. Duffin (on Monday, November 14) ordered that Brendan Dassey be released from the Wisconsin state prison system.

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UPDATED: On Wednesday, November 16, Judge Duffin ordered that the state prison system release Dassey on Friday. The federal judge’s order said: “The United States Probation Office has informed the court that it has approved the proposed residence of Brendan Dassey and completed all further pre-release investigation it deemed necessary. Therefore, in accordance with this court’s order of November 14, 2016, the respondent shall release Brendan Dassey from the custody of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections not later than 8 p.m. on Friday, November 18, 2016.”

The respondent named is a state prison warden.

Also on November 16, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said he will file an emergency motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit seeking a stay of this release order and requesting relief by Friday, November 18, 2016. If granted, that would block Dassey’s release on Friday.

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In August, Duffin threw out Dassey’s conviction for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, ruling that the confession by Dassey was coerced and thus not constitutional. Dassey was 16 years old when he confessed to killing Halbach.

In issuing the order (on November 14), Judge Duffin imposed a number of conditions, since the State of Wisconsin is appealing Duffing’s order vacating Dassey’s conviction in state court.

Among the conditions:

  1. Federal probation officers will supervise Dassey while he is out of prison.

  2. Dassey cannot violate any federal, state or local law.

  3. He must appear in court as ordered and return to prison if the state’s appeal of Duffin’s order is successful.

  4. He must comply with sex offender registration laws.

  5. He must not leave the Eastern Judicial District of Wisconsin or the Northern District of Illinois unless the court approves.

  6. He cannot obtain a passport.

  7. He cannot have a firearm, destructive device or any other dangerous weapon.

  8. He cannot use or possess controlled substances and will be subject to drug testing.

  9. He cannot have any contact with Steven Avery or with the family of Teresa Halbach.

By noon on Tuesday, November 15, Dassey’s attorney has to provide the U.S Probation office an address where Dassey will reside. The probation office will determine whether the residence is suitable.

If it is, then the court will then issue another order, directing the state prison system to release Dassey.

On September 14, the lawyers representing Dassey filed a motion asking the judge to order Dassey’s release while a federal appeals court is considering the state’s request to overturn Duffin’s decision.

In the November 14 order, Judge Duffin defended his decision to vacate Dassey’s conviction and wrote: “The court concluded that, when viewed collectively, various assertions and assurances the investigators repeatedly made to Dassey amounted to false promises that he would not be punished. These false promises, when considered in conjunction with the fact that Dassey was only 16 years old, has significant intellectual deficits, had no prior experience with law enforcement aside from this investigation, was alone with the investigators without the benefit of an attorney or other allied adult, as well as other factors, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments [to the U.S. Constitution.”

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