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Monday, March 5, 2012

16-year-old Brendan was convicted On the basis of his police-induced confession

State: Wisconsin
On the basis of his police-induced confession, 16-year-old Brendan Dassey was convicted of the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach, as well as the destruction of her corpse. Brendan was brought in for questioning months after his uncle, Steven Avery, has already been arrested on charges related to Ms. Halbach's murder.

At trial, the prosecution argued that 19 specific facts from Brendan's confession were corroborated, meaning that his confession was obviously reliable. CWCY attorneys, who now represent Brendan for his appeals, have discovered that each of these 19 so-called 19 corroborating facts were either widely publicized in the media, fed to Brendan by police during his interrogation, or information Brendan easily could have known simply by being in his uncle's house on previous occasions.

CWCY attorneys just concluded a five-day hearing on the issues raised in their petition. In addition to the issues related to the confession described above, the hearing also focused on the ineffectiveness of Brendan's attorneys. With the assistance of a defense-hired private investigator, evidence was presented that one of Brendan's attorneys actually had loyalties with the prosecution and was actively working against Brendan in an attempt to secure his conviction.

A decision on the motion for a new trial will be given later this year.

Update: May 25, 2010
CWCY attorneys have filed their post-conviction hearing brief in the case of Brendan Dassey. The brief argues that Len Kachinsky, Brendan's original attorney, abandoned his duty of loyalty to his client by working with the prosecution to assure Brendan's conviction. Other errors made by Brendan's subsequent trial counsel also contributed to his conviction. See article below from the Post-Crescent.

Update: July 26, 2010
The CWCY has filed its post-hearing reply brief in Brendan Dassey's case. The investigation and litigation has taken close to 3 years. The next step is a court ruling on the motion for new trial.


Brendan Dassey post-hearing brief
CWCY - May 25, 2010
State: Wisconsin
Type: Case
Topic: Interrogations, Miranda, or False Confessions

The post-hearing brief in the Brendan Dassey case, addressing issues of ineffective assistance of counsel, contaiminated confessions, and coercive interrogations of minors

Brendan Dassey Motion for New Trial
Steven Drizin, Joshua Tepfer, Laura Nirider - August 25, 2009
State: Wisconsin
Type: Sample Brief Or Motion
Topic: Interrogations, Miranda, or False Confessions

A sample memorandum of law for post-conviction motion involving an alleged false confession.

Brendan Dassey post hearing reply brief
CWCY - July 26, 2010
State: Wisconsin
Type: Sample Brief Or Motion
Topic: Juveniles and Wrongful Convictions

Post-hearing reply brief in the case of 16-year-old Brendan Dassey.

Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth
Northwestern University School of Law 375 E. Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60611-3069
Phone: (312) 503-8576 E-mail:

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