U.S. Appeals Court agrees to reconsider ‘Making a Murderer’ conviction
By Associated Press
A full federal appeals court will review a ruling overturning the conviction of a Wisconsin inmate featured in the "Making a Murderer" Netflix documentary series.
Brendan Dassey, now aged 27, was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 after he told detectives he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Teresa Halbach.
A federal judge overturned Dassey's conviction last year, ruling that investigators took advantage of Dassey's youth and cognitive disabilities to coerce his confession. A three-judge panel from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed in June.
State attorneys asked all 12 7th Circuit judges to review the case. The court rarely grants such reviews but the state argued police practices are now in question.
The court on Friday agreed to the full review without commenting on the case's merits and set oral arguments for September.
Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted in separate trials of killing freelance photographer Teresa Halbach at Avery's home and scrap yard in 2005. Her charred remains were found in an incineration barrel and a burn pit on Avery's property, about 80 miles north of Milwaukee.
Both were sentenced to life in prison.
The case was the subject of a 10-part documentary, "Making a Murderer," which questioned the handling of the investigation and the motives of Manitowoc County law enforcement officials.
The documentary recounted how Avery was convicted of an earlier, unrelated rape and sent to prison in 1985, serving 18 years before DNA evidence exonerated him, and he was released.
He filed a $36 million federal lawsuit against the county, its former sheriff and district attorney in 2004. A year later, he and Dassey were accused of killing Halbach.
The Emmy-winning documentary suggested authorities planted evidence against both defendants, a claim rejected by the current sheriff.
Netflix said last year that a second season of "Making a Murderer," chronicling the latest developments in the case, was in production.