Lawyers seek to free inmate featured in 'Making a Murderer'

A federal appeals court on Thursday affirmed a decision to overturn the murder conviction of Brendan Dassey, a Wisconsin man serving a life sentence whose case was chronicled in the popular Netflix television documentary "Making a Murderer".

The appeals court had stayed that order until it had made its decision. The three-judge panel said Dassey was coerced into confessing and should be released from prison.

Zellner tells WBAY the 7th Circuit Court panel's opinion upholding a lower court's ruling that Dassey's confession was involuntary makes Avery optimistic about his future.

Duffin ruled that authorities had inappropriately promised the then-16-year-old leniency in exchange for his confession. He was sentenced to life in prison and is now 27. The Wisconsin attorney general's office may yet appeal the ruling to the full 7th Circuit, or to the Supreme Court. Even after the district court ordered his release in November, he has waited behind bars for seven additional months while the State pursued its appeal to this Court.

In August, a federal magistrate judge ruled that Dassey's confession was improperly obtained.

Lawyers have vowed to fight to free Dassey, whose case garnered global attention after featuring in the popular Netflix series.

The court said they took advantage of his young age and intellectual deficits and there were no other adults with him.

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Yet, on Thursday, two out of the three judges made a decision to uphold Duffin's ruling, which overturned Dassey's sentence for his involvement in the assault and murder of Halbach.

"THIS JUST IN", Dassey's attorney Steven Drizin tweeted on Thursday. They have 90 days to decide whether they'll retry him. Avery is now serving a life sentence (without the possibility of parole) for Halbach's murder and illegally possessing a firearm.

The judges said the state appellate court ignored "many signs" that Dassey was trying to please investigators and a clear pattern of fact-finding and promises.

During Dassey's interrogation, investigators can be seen feeding him information and leading him to give the answers they were looking for regarding the murder of Teresa Halbach.

A Wisconsin Department of Justice spokesman told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that it is "evaluating the 2-1 decision from the court".

The state justice department had harsh words, stating "We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr".

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