Federal court hears arguments in Brendan Dassey’s case Tuesday - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Federal court hears arguments in Brendan Dassey’s case Tuesday

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Major players in the case of “Making A Murderer” subject Brendan Dassey have arrived at a federal courthouse in Chicago where judges will hear arguments Tuesday morning.

Dassey attorneys and Wisconsin Department of Justice prosecutor Luke Berg will present the arguments in front of a panel of three judges on Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals at 9:30 a.m. Attorneys for both sides will be given 20 minutes to argue their case, with the possibility of the State receiving an extra five minutes for rebuttal.

The judges hearing the arguments are Judge David F. Hamilton, Judge Ilana D. Rovner, and Judge Ann C. Williams.

Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were convicted in separate trials for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County. Their cases gained international attention following the Netflix release of a documentary series “Making a Murderer.”

In August, federal judge William Duffin overturned Dassey’s 1st Degree Intentional Homicide conviction, ruling that Dassey’s confession was improperly obtained by Manitowoc County investigators due to his age (he was 16 at the time); intellectual deficits; and lack of adult present for his questioning.

The ruling states that Dassey’s confession was involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The State of Wisconsin appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court asking Duffin’s ruling overturning Dassey’s conviction be reversed.

Action 2 News reporter Emily Matesic is in the courtroom for the hearing.

Emily reports that family members of victim Teresa Halbach have arrived for the hearing. Also, former Calumet County prosecutor Ken Kratz, the man who originally tried Dassey and Avery for the Halbach murder, is present for the hearing.

While the court will hear arguments Tuesday, we’re told it won’t issue a decision until sometime after June.

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After his murder conviction was overturned back in August, Brendan Dassey’s case will be heard Tuesday morning in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were both convicted for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. Their cases gained international attention following the Netflix release of a documentary series “Making a Murderer” in December, 2015.

Attorneys for both sides will be given 20 minutes to argue their case, with the possibility of the State receiving an extra five minutes for rebuttal.

Green Bay attorney Tricia Nell, who argued a discrimination case in front of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals about 10 years ago, describes what Laura Nirider from the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, who is representing Dassey, and Luke Berg, the State’s attorney, are doing in preparation for Tuesday’s hearing.

“They’re doing mock trials really within their own offices of what the justices may ask them about what’s applicable to the case, other cases that are out there, etc.,” said Nell, who is not involved in the Dassey case.

The State petitioned the court to overturn an August ruling that said Dassey’s confession was improperly obtained and his conviction be overturned.

According to Nell, the three justices who will hear arguments Tuesday have already read the briefs submitted by both sides.

While the attorneys will have prepared remarks for their arguments, Nell says they may never speak a word of them as the panel will most likely conduct a question-and-answer session.

“They have in their minds specific questions. They may have decided specific cases already or they have looked at Supreme Court cases that are applicable to the case at hand and want to know how they apply to this, your case or differ,” said Nell.

While the court will hear arguments Tuesday, we’re told it won’t issue a decision until sometime after June.

Emily Matesic of Action 2 News will be in the courtroom and bring you what happens on Action 2 News and WBAY.com.

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