Supreme Court reschedules Brendan Dassey conference

Published: Jun. 13, 2018 at 12:59 PM CDT
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The United States Supreme Court will not discuss Brendan Dassey's case on June 14 as was anticipated.

The high court had planned to discuss Dassey's petition during its private conference, but the SCOTUS website says it has been rescheduled.

No new schedule date was listed. No reason was given.

Dassey is serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County. Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide at separate jury trials.

Attorney Jerome Buting, who represented Avery at trial, tweeted that this not an unusual move for SCOTUS.

"Brendan Dassey's SCOTUS conference is rescheduled. As I noted previously, not unusual for court not to rule in first conference. Importantly, it was not denied immediately," Buting tweeted.

Dassey attorney Steven Drizin tweeted a link to a Tom Petty song and said, "I've said it before and I'll say it again: 'The Waiting is the Hardest Part.'"

Dassey's case gained international attention in 2015 with the release of Netflix docu-series "Making A Murderer."

Dassey was 16 at the time of the killing of Teresa Halbach. His attorneys argue Dassey's confession was coerced by investigators who used improper techniques while interrogating a juvenile with a low IQ. They say investigators made false promises to Dassey that he'd be released if he told them about the killing.

A federal magistrate overturned Dassey's conviction, saying repeated false promises by detectives, when considered with other factors like Dassey's age, intellectual deficits and the absence of a supportive adult, led him to determine that Dassey's confession was involuntary under the U.S. Constitution.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice appealed up to a US appeals court, which in a 4-3 ruling found the confession to be voluntary.

Dassey's attorneys asked the US Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision and grant Dassey a hearing.

The state responded by asserting that Dassey "unexpectedly confessed to investigators that, at his uncle's urging, he had raped the victim while she was tied up in bed and begging for mercy, and soon thereafter confessed to helping kill her and burn her body."

Dassey's team, in their May 25 response to the state, argued against the state's claim the the confession was not the only thing they had to convict Dassey, saying "no forensic or other direct evidence linked Dassey to the crimes."

The brief says, "But the supposed evidence consists almost entirely of items found before Dassey's interrogation--meaning their locations were known to Dassey's interrogators when they fed him facts and otherwise shaped the confession."

Dassey has received support from the American Psychological Association; Independent Law Enforcement Instructors and Consultants; and Professors of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Law.

Avery continues to appeal his conviction. His case was recently sent back to circuit court so his attorney can motion to present newly discovered evidence.