Brendan Dassey—the Wisconsin man whose 2007 conviction on charges of aiding his uncle Steven Avery in the rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach was featured in Netflix’s hit true-crime series Making A Murderer—has reached the end of the legal line. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear Dassey’s case, as Variety reports, declining to give a reason for its decision. (That’s typical for the court, as The Washington Post points out.)
Dassey’s lawyers claim that Dassey’s confession was coerced by Manitowoc County officials, who took advantage of his age (Dassey was 16 when he was convicted) and borderline intellectual disability to manipulate him into confessing to a crime he did not commit. They appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court after a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld Dassey’s conviction in December 2017.
Dassey is currently serving a life sentence, and, unless the Supreme Court decides to send the case back to a lower court, will continue to do so. In a statement, Dassey’s attorney Laura Nirider says:
We would like to extend sincere gratitude to the dozens of former prosecutors, national law enforcement trainers, leading psychological experts, innocence projects, juvenile justice organizations, and law professors who filed amicus briefs in this case and who, along with our legal team, will continue to fight for Brendan and the many other children who have been wrongfully convicted due to the use of coercive interrogation tactics.
Avery is still appealing his case; he was also denied a new trial by a Wisconsin court back in November.