Making a Murderer: Appeals court upholds Brendan Dassey's conviction

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A United States appeals court has declined a motion to free a man convicted of a killing featured in the hit Netflix series "Making a Murderer".

The decision from the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a federal judge's ruling that Dassey, a subject of Netflix's "Making a Murderer" series, was coerced into falsely confessing to Teresa Halbach's murder.

By a 4-to-3 vote, the appellate court ruled that Dassey's confession was not coerced, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Brendan Dassey had claimed that he was tricked into confessing that he helped his uncle rape and kill photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.

Over a year ago, a federal judge overturned Brendan Dassey's murder conviction, setting the table for the subject of the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer to be released from prison after almost a decade. In June 2017, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed that August 2016 ruling by a 2-to-1 count, but the state of Wisconsin requested that seven members of that court hear the appeal.

His attorneys, Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin, say they'll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

Chief Judge Diane P Wood added: "Without this involuntary and highly unreliable confession, the case against Dassey was nearly non-existent".

She said: "His confession was not voluntary and his conviction should bot stand, and yet an impaired teenager has been sentenced to life in prison".

The court ruled his confession was voluntary.

Dissenting Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner said the decision was a "profound miscarriage of justice", however.

"Like many around the globe, we share the view of the three judges who wrote, in dissent, that today's ruling represents a 'profound miscarriage of justice, '" the pair said in an emailed statement.

Dassey's uncle, Steven Avery, who was convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder in 1985 but exonerated after serving 18 years in prison, was convicted two years after his 2003 release in Halbach's murder.

The judge pointed out in his ruling that Dassey had a low IQ, was easily coerced and changed his story multiple times, and was without proper legal representation during his police interrogations.

Authorities who worked on the cases said the series was biased.

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