Originally published August 16, 2016 FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) – The man who prosecuted Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey is speaking exclusively to Action 2 News about Friday’s ruling that overturned Dassey’s conviction.
Avery and Dassey were both found guilty in 2007 for roles in the murder of Teresa Halbach two years earlier.
Last Friday, a federal magistrate overturned Dassey’s conviction, saying interviews by investigators violated his Constitutional rights. The state attorney general’s office has 90 days to decide whether to appeal the decision, seek a re-trial or allow his release from prison.
Like many following the cases, former Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz, who served as special prosecutor against both men, was surprised by the ruling, especially since it hinged on Dassey’s confession to authorities, which had been argued in the past.
“Usually a suppression hearing that has already gone through all of the state courts, the circuit court level, the court of appeals and of course the Supreme Court decided not to even hear it, is so unusual for a federal court to weigh in on that,” Kratz said.
What’s more surprising to Kratz was that the magistrate’s decision cited articles written by Dassey’s defense team.
“Really shows you, I think, slanted nature of this, at least the decision and why it happened and where it came from.”
While no longer a part of the decision-making process, Kratz believes the attorney general will take a serious look at the situation and talk with the Halbach family before deciding how to proceed.
But if it were up to him, Kratz says the logical thing to do is appeal.
“Appeal the decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The reason I say that, is that it leaves the other three options open.”
In the meantime, Kratz, like the rest of the public, will wait to see what the state decides to do.
“To be sitting on the sideline with the rest of citizenry and only being able to sit back and just see what happens from news agencies is an awkward, uncomfortable position for me personally,” he said.