Nancy Grace is not happy that “Making a Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey had his conviction overturned last week.
Grace had Ken Kratz, the former district attorney of Calumet County, Wisconsin, who prosecuted Dassey, on her show Monday night and they share the opinion that U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin was incorrect when he ruled that police used improper methods to get information from Dassey during videotaped interrogations.
“I say nothing was wrong [with the interrogation],” Grace said.
A clearly annoyed Grace repeatedly asked prominent criminal defense attorney David Bruno, who was also a guest, to explain what was wrong with the videotaped confession.
“He’s 16 years old. He was repeatedly told he had the right to have a lawyer. His mother is waiting in the next room. She was asked to come in. She chose not to come in,” Grace said. “His lawyer knows he’s there and sent a representative from the law firm … he was repeatedly told he had the right to remain silent and he could have a lawyer with him.”
Grace continued: “He, also, is not mentally ill. His IQ is in the average range.”
Bruno said that the “totality of the circumstances” helped coerce the confession, but Katz didn’t agree and shot down the theory.
“Telling the truth or imploring somebody to tell the truth is not the same as making promises, or making inducements, or threatening them,” Kratz said.
Nine years after Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were found guilty in the murder of Teresa Halbach, Dassey’s conviction was overturned last Friday. Judge Duffin granted Dassey’s writ for a petition of habeas corpus, finding that his imprisonment was unlawful because his confession to the murder was involuntary. In reaching that decision, Duffin wrote that the “misconduct” of Len Kachinsky, Dassey’s court-appointed attorney, was “indefensible.”
“Making a Murderer,” which has been a hit since it debuted last December on Netflix, suggested that Kachinsky made a deal that put his client behind bars when he should have tried to prove Dassey’s innocence.
Grace declined TheWrap’s request for additional comment through an HLN spokesperson.
Grace is leaving HLN after 12 years when her current contract expires in October. She became an ardent advocate for victims’ rights after her fiancé was murdered in 1979. Grace spent a decade serving as a prosecutor in Atlanta before turning to a career as a TV legal analyst.