WASHINGTON (WBAY) - The highest court in the United States will not review the judgment that upheld Brendan Dassey's conviction for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied Dassey a writ of certiorari. There was no reason given for the denial.
Dassey's attorney, Laura Nirider, said her team will continue to fight for Dassey. Scroll down for Nirider's complete statement.
"Brendan was a sixteen-year old with intellectual and social disabilities when he confessed to a crime he did not commit. The video of Brendan’s interrogation shows a confused boy who was manipulated by experienced police officers into accepting their story of how the murder of Teresa Halbach happened," Nirider said.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel praised the Supreme Court's decision. "We hope the family and friends of Ms. Halbach can find comfort in knowing this ordeal has finally come to a close," Schimel said in a statement. Scroll down for the full statement.
Dassey was sentenced to life in prison 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.
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 U.S. Appeals Court, which in a 4-3 ruling found the confession to be voluntary.
The Supreme Court Justices agreed not to review the Appeals Court ruling.
Dassey, who is now 28, will be eligible for parole in 2048.
Ken Kratz, the special prosecutor in the Dassey and Avery trials, said Monday that he has "a great deal of sympathy today for Brendan Dassey."
Kratz tweeted, "His uncle, Steven Avery, made him a murderer--his family and attorneys provided the worst possible advice, ensuring that he will now spend nearly the rest of his life in prison."
Kratz continued, "Knowing he could have been walking out of prison in as little as three years from today, had he followed Attorney [Len] Kachinsky's original plea recommendation, I wonder if his 'advisors' so willing to criticize law enforcement for obtaining his confession will turn the lens of scrutiny on themselves and apologize to Brendan for mishandling his case at almost every turn."
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel's full statement:
“DOJ is pleased that the Supreme Court of the United States denied Mr. Dassey’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari, and the decision of an en banc panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit stands. We hope the family and friends of Ms. Halbach can find comfort in knowing this ordeal has finally come to a close.”
Dassey attorney Laura Nirider's full statement:
“We will continue to fight to free Brendan Dassey. Brendan was a sixteen-year old with intellectual and social disabilities when he confessed to a crime he did not commit. The video of Brendan’s interrogation shows a confused boy who was manipulated by experienced police officers into accepting their story of how the murder of Teresa Halbach happened. These officers repeatedly assured him that everything would be ‘okay’ if he just told them what they wanted to hear and then fed him facts so that Brendan’s ‘confession’ fit their theory of the crime. By the end of the interrogation, Brendan was so confused that he actually thought he was going to return to school after confessing to murder. Nonetheless, he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on the basis of this ‘confession.’
Unfortunately, Brendan isn’t alone. Over the past twenty years, extensive empirical and psychological research has shown that children under 18 are between three and four times more likely to falsely confess than adults – and yet the criminal justice system fails many of them. It’s up to the courts to put an end to this. Now, more than ever, courts around the country must update their understandings of coercion in light of the newly understood problem of false confessions. The Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth is dedicated to continuing this effort, along with our justice-minded partners in both law enforcement and defense-oriented communities across the globe.
We would like to extend sincere gratitude to the dozens of former prosecutors, national law enforcement trainers, leading psychological experts, innocence projects, juvenile justice organizations, and law professors who filed amicus briefs in this case and who, along with our legal team, will continue to fight for Brendan and the many other children who have been wrongfully convicted due to the use of coercive interrogation tactics.”
Jerome Buting, a former attorney for Dassey's uncle, tweeted that the court "passed on a huge opportunity to improve justice, especially for juveniles."
Buting continued, "Disappointing as today's decision is for American justice, Dassey has more options; don't give up hope. Newly discovered evidence & Brady violations in SA [Steven Avery] case will apply to him. Truth will prevail."
Avery continues to appeal his conviction. An appeals court has sent his case back to circuit court as his attorney asks to present new evidence.
Season two of "Making a Murderer" will document the appeals process.