A federal appeals court in Chicago will decide this summer whether or not Brendan Dassey should have his conviction reinstated in the slaying of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County.
The three judge panel heard arguments Tuesday on a request by the Wisconsin Department of Justice to keep Dassey — one of the subjects in the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer” — in prison. The judges asked attorneys for DOJ whether prosecutors’ questioning of Dassey amounted to a promise of leniency for Dassey, who was 16 when he confessed that both he and his uncle Steven Avery raped, shot, and burned Halbach in 2005.
A federal magistrate ruled last summer that Dassey should get a new trial, after the Netflix documentary raised questions about his guilt. A state attorney argued that Dassey was promised no benefits in exchange for his cooperation. But his appellate lawyer argued that questioners took advantage of Dassey’s age and low IQ.