Steven Avery’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, cheered a judge’s decision on Friday to overturn the conviction of Avery’s nephew Brendan Dassey, saying Dassey’s confession was “fabricated.”
“Justice for Brendan as another LE fabricated confession bites the dust. Convicting the innocent foiled by unbiased court,” Kathleen Zellner, who took on Avery as a client earlier this year, tweeted Friday.
Moments earlier, U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin granted Dassey’s writ of habeas corpus, finding that his confession at age 16 while suffering “from certain intellectual deficits” at the time of his questioning, was involuntary.
Dassey, who along with Avery served as the subject of “Making a Murderer,” had attempted to recant his confession after making it.
Justice for Brendan as another LE fabricated confession bites the dust. Convicting the innocent foiled by unbiased court.@MakingAMurderer
– Kathleen Zellner (@ZellnerLaw) August 12, 2016
On Friday, Duffin found that the confession was involuntary because his questioners repeatedly assured him that they already knew what had happened in the death of photographer Teresa Halbach, and that Dassey was told multiple times that he would not be punished if he told the truth.
Duffin also factored in the fact that a parent was not present at the time of Dassey’s questioning.
“Consequently, the court finds that the confession Dassey gave to the police on March 1, 2006 was so clearly involuntary in a constitutional sense that the court of appeals’ decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law,” the judge wrote.
Dassey will be released from custody in 90 days unless the state decides to retry him, the judge said.