A U.S. appeals court in Chicago on Friday agreed to reconsider the decision of a federal judge who overturned the homicide conviction of a Wisconsin man serving a life sentence in a case chronicled in the Netflix television documentary “Making of a Murderer.”
A federal magistrate, William Duffin, threw out the guilty verdict against Brendan Dassey last August, ruling the conviction was based on a coerced confession that the defendant, now 27, gave as a 16-year-old youth with a learning disability.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Duffin’s decision in June, setting the stage for his release. But Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel appealed, asking for an “en banc” re-hearing of the case by the full 12-member circuit court.
The 7th Circuit on Friday granted that request, vacating the earlier decision of its three-judge panel and setting a new round of oral arguments to be heard on Sept. 26.
At issue is the habeas petition filed by Dassey seeking to reverse the 2007 state court jury verdict that found him guilty at age 17 of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse.
Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted in separate trials of killing freelance photographer Teresa Halbach at Avery’s home and scrap yard in 2005. Her charred remains were found in an incineration barrel and a burn pit on Avery’s property, about 80 miles (130 km) north of Milwaukee.
Both were sentenced to life in prison.
The case was the subject of a 10-part documentary, “Making a Murderer,” which questioned the handling of the investigation and the motives of Manitowoc County law enforcement officials.
The documentary recounted how Avery was convicted of an earlier, unrelated rape and sent to prison in 1985, serving 18 years before DNA evidence exonerated him, and he was released.
He filed a $36 million federal lawsuit against the county, its former sheriff and district attorney in 2004. A year later, he and Dassey were accused of killing Halbach.
The Emmy-winning documentary suggested authorities planted evidence against both defendants, a claim rejected by the current sheriff.
Netflix said last year that a second season of “Making a Murderer,” chronicling the latest developments in the case, was in production.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; editing by Diane Craft)
Louisville police chief fired after mayor determines body cameras were off during David McAtee shooting
On Monday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that the chief of the city's police department has been relieved of duty, effective immediately.
The move comes after the body cameras of Louisville police officers involved in the fatal shooting of David McAtee, a local Black businessman, had not been active.
🚨 Mayor of #Louisville: The body cameras of those involved in the shooting last night that killed David McAtee were NOT active.
LISTEN: Charlamagne Tha God clashes with ‘delusional’ Rush Limbaugh in debate over George Floyd’s killing and white privilege
During an interview with Rush Limbaugh this Monday, Charlamagne Tha God called out the conservative radio host for his white privilege and asked him why he's choosing to speak out on George Floyd's killing while there have been countless examples of police violence against black people.
“I know that you’re going to disagree with me on this — to me this is not America,” Limbaugh said, adding that he thinks the U.S. is the greatest country in the world.
But according to Charlamagne, America is only great for some people.
“I think it’s easy for you to say because you’re a white male and that comes with a different level of privilege,” Charlamagne said. “And I do think America does work but it works for the people it was designed to work for. It doesn’t work for everyone else the way it works for you.”