Legal expert Abrams: Dassey should be released

MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams says he believes Brendan Dassey should be released from a Wisconsin prison following a federal appeals court opinion affirming that Dassey's confession to the murder of Teresa Halbach was coerced by Manitowoc County investigators.

Abrams appeared on "Good Morning America" Friday morning for an interview with Robin Roberts.

Abrams told Roberts that he doesn't believe the State of Wisconsin should re-try Dassey.

Abrams: "The bottom line is, the only piece of evidence against Dassey is the confession. The confession, is at best, questionable. So, I don't know why they continue to fight this. Typically, when you hear about appeals, it is the defense appealing, not the prosecution."

Roberts: "You don't think they should go to trial?"

Abrams: "I think, I don't think they should re-try him. And I think they should decide this is it. Now, they seem to want to re-try him, but they need that confession to re-try him. So, the legal rulings we are hearing about are whether the confession would be admissible. If they don't have the confession, they can't re-try him because, that is all that they have."

The Wisconsin Department of Justice released a statement to Action 2 News saying the DOJ anticipates seeking a review by the full 7th Circuit Court or the United States Supreme Court.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago released a 2-1 opinion that Dassey's confession to helping his uncle Steven Avery kill Halbach on Halloween 2005 was involuntary. The case became an international cause celebre following the release of Netflix docu-series "Making a Murderer."

"In sum, the investigators promised Dassey freedom and alliance if he told the truth and all signs suggest that Dassey took that promise literally. The pattern of questions demonstrates that the message the investigators conveyed is that the 'truth' was what they wanted to hear," reads the 7th Circuit Court panel's decision.

Click here to read the full decision from the 7th Circuit Court panel.

Halbach, a freelance photographer, visited the Avery Salvage Yard in Manitowoc County to take photos for a magazine. Investigators say her vehicle and burned remains were found on the Avery property.

Opinions on the guilt of Avery and Dassey shifted after the release of "Making A Murderer", which showed the case through the defense point of view. Avery's trial attorneys argued their client was framed for Halbach's murder as revenge for a $36 million settlement granted to Avery for wrongful conviction in a rape case.

Avery's attorney Kathleen Zellner has filed a post-conviction relief motion in Manitowoc County laying out her argument for Avery to get a new trial.

Abrams says the Dassey decision does not necessarily mean good news for Steven Avery.

"The supporters of Steven Avery want to lump them together and say 'ah ha! see! See what happened with Dassey? This will be good news for Avery,'" Abrams said.

"It has nothing to do with Avery. Avery is, and I have said this publicly before, I believe the evidence against Avery is incredibly overwhelming. And so, it is a totally separate situation between Avery and Dassey. Dassey ought to be released, Avery completely different story."

Zellner is visiting Avery Friday at Waupun Correctional Institution. Action 2 News is there are will have coverage throughout the day.

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