The US Supreme Court said Monday that it won't hear the appeal of a man whose murder and rape conviction was documented in Netflix's Making a Murderer series, according to the Associated Press.
When Brendan Dassey was 16, he confessed to authorities in Wisconsin that he'd helped his uncle rape and murder photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005 and burn her body. Dassey's lawyers say he has a borderline intellectual disability and was pressured to give a false confession. They sought a new trial.
Several prosecutors urged the Supreme Court to hear Dassey's appeal given all the attention Making a Murderer had given his confession.
"Review of this particular case is needed to restore the public's confidence in the justice system," the prosecutors wrote. "Millions of Americans watched the video of Dassey's interrogations in the award-winning documentary Making a Murderer, prompting a public outcry over the obvious failure of the system."
With the Supreme Court declining to take up the case, the lower court ruling against Dassey, who is now 28 and has served 12 years of a life sentence, remains in place. That ruling states that Dassey's confession was voluntary. As usual, the Supreme Court justices didn't say why they declined to take the case.
Dassey's attorneys can try to get a new trial, but would have to convince a judge that it's justified with new evidence, AP reports.
Laura Nirider, Dassey's attorney, said her team will continue to work to free him, as 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 in a statement.
"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,'" Nirider added.
A second season of Making a Murderer, which premiered in 2015, is in the works.
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