The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that police properly obtained Dassey's confession and he should remain behind bars.
A federal magistrate judge overturned Dassey's conviction previous year, ruling that detectives took advantage of Dassey's youth and learning disabilities to coerce his confession. A three-judge panel from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.
"Psychological coercion, questions to which the police furnished the answers, and ghoulish games of "20 Questions, ' in which Brendan Dassey guessed over and over again before he landed on the "correct story" (i.e., the one the police wanted), led to the 'confession" that furnished the only serious evidence supporting his murder conviction in the Wisconsin court", Wood's blistering dissent reads. "I view this as a profound miscarriage of justice", the Associated Press reports.
Brendan Dassey, now 28, is serving a life sentence in the Wisconsin prison system.
"What occurred here was the interrogation of an intellectually impaired juvenile", Judge Ilana Rovner wrote.
Zellner, in various court documents, has also implicated Bobby Dassey as the real culprit of Halbach's murder.
Dassey's legal team might appeal Friday's decision, taking the fight to the Supreme Court.
"His confession was not voluntary and his conviction should not stand, and yet an impaired teenager has been sentenced to life in prison", Rovner wrote.
It wasn't immediately clear if Dassey's attorneys would appeal to the US Supreme Court. They say the 7th Circuit judges ignored the fundamental idea that false confessions often result when children or the mentally vulnerable are interrogated. "Today's decision is a testament to the talent of the attorneys at the Wisconsin Department of Justice who have worked tirelessly to deliver justice for the family and friends of Teresa Halbach over the last decade".
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