Originally published August 13, 2016 GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) — Deja Vishny says it’s no surprise Brendan Dassey’s conviction was overturned by a federal magistrate judge.
“I know the people that are doing the appeal, so I was very familiar with the issues, and I have a lot of expertise in coercion, false confessions, coercive police conduct,” says Vishny.
“The interrogation of Brendan Dassey was quite coercive, so the opinion to me seems to be absolutely on point and accurate,” she says.
Vishny is head of the Homicide Practice Group at the Wisconsin State Public Defenders Office. She says the next step in this case is up the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
“[U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin] gave the state 90 days to either decide if they’re going to try him again, release him or appeal the decision,” says Vishny.
She feels the state will appeal.
Vishny says coerced confessions happen more often that we think – which is what she feels happened in this case.
“I think it’s really important for the public to understand that false confessions exist, that certain police interrogation methods can obtain a false confession, particularly where the person being interrogated is a juvenile or has some cognitive issues, a cognitive disability – both of those conditions existed in Brendan Dassey’s case,” says Vishny.
Vishny says it’s rare to have a conviction like Dassey’s overturned. She explains when a conviction of this nature is appealed, the defense must show that state courts did not comply with federal law.
She was glad to see the judge rule in favor of Dassey and hopes the public watches developments closely just as she will.