Tag Archives: Brendan Dassey

Appeals Court Concurs: Brendan Dassey’s Confession Was Involuntary

Yesterday, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal magistrate judge’s ruling that Wisconsin inmate Brendan Dassey’s confession in the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach (featured in the Netflix series “Making a Murderer”) was involuntary. The state Justice Department had appealed and will likely seek a review by the 7th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court. The state also has the option of retrying Dassey within 90 days.

In an Associated Press article, Steven Drizin, an expert on false confessions, Co-founder of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University, and one of Dassey’s attorneys said, Continue reading

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“Brendan Dassey: A True Story of a False Confession” Video and CLE Course Available on Youtube


Brenda Dassey was convicted of murder in 2007 after falsely confessing.

Brendan Dassey: A True Story of a False Confession Video and CLE Course (Illinois CLE credit only) is now available on Youtube. Last month, Steven Drizin and Laura Nirider of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth gave a presentation to a packed Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, in which they used their client Brendan Dassey’s case—featured in the Netflix documentary, Making a Murderer—as a lens for the study of police interrogation.

Drizin and Nirider used footage from Dassey’s videotaped interrogations to highlight the way certain errors by law enforcement can elicit false confessions. Following their presentation, the Honorable Michael K. Browne, a Hennepin County, Minnesota judge, led a panel discussion with Drizin, Nirider, Dr. Antoinette Kavanaugh, a forensic psychologist, and Robert J. Milan, a former assistant state’s attorney and current managing director at Stroz Friedberg.


Northwestern Law Professors Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin

The CWCY—a joint project of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center on Wrongful Convictions and the Children and Family Justice Center— was created to address the unique problems faced by wrongfully accused youth, by spearheading exoneration efforts in cases like Dassey’s, as well as advocating for criminal justice reforms aimed at improving juvenile interrogation methods.


The April 6, 2016, presentation and the panel discussion that followed are available as an on-demand continuing legal education (CLE) course in the state of Illinois. The CLE fee is $150, and proceeds will support the work of the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY).