"The Wisconsin state courts didn't look the specific qualities of Brendan Dassey-his intellectual limitations", Zellner said.
The panel, from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Thursday that Dassey should be released unless he is retried within 90 days or the state appeals further, which they have said they will.
"Mr. Dassey, now twenty-seven years old, has been held in custody since March 31, 2006 - since he was sixteen years old - for a conviction, based nearly entirely on an involuntary confession, that has been overturned", reads the motion. The majority of the three-judge panel agreed with Duffin that Dassey's confession was involuntary.
Dassey was convicted in the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. It cited "the leading, the fact-feeding, the false promises, the manipulation of Dassey's desire to please" as among many factors that cast it in doubt.
He added, "We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr. Dassey to re-litigate his guilty verdict and sentence".
November 8, 2005: Avery tells reporters he fears authorities are trying to frame him for Halbach's slaying because he sued Manitowoc County officials for $36 million for wrongful conviction.
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Judge William Duffin, who initially overturned Dassey's conviction and ordered his release from prison, issued the stay on request from the Wisconsin Department of Justice to allow the agency time to appeal.
Calumet County Prosecutor Ken Kratz called a news conference shortly after investigators secured the confession, saying that Dassey described in detail Halbach's brutal assault and slaying. The two then burned her body, Dassey told detectives. He's pursuing his own appeal in state court. The next appointment, Zellner says, was with Steven Avery, who claims Halbach arrived at 2:31 p.m., and left a few minutes after photographing his sister's van. The majority opinion by Rovner said "no reasonable court" could have any confidence that Dassey's confession was voluntary.
But Dassey's confession, according to the ruling, was "a story crafted by the investigators" and not by him.
His sentence being overturned doesn't mean he'll be released, however.
"My assumption is that they would have to release him, based on the judge's order unless they get another stay from the Supreme Court", Dvorak says.
"We are evaluating the 2-1 decision from the court", Johnny Koremenos, the communications director for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, said in a statement Thursday. I'm a father that has a kid your age too. Let me know in the comments!