In recent years, documentary podcasts and TV series have really taken on the subject of criminal justice, and the results have been more than compelling. From Andrew Jarecki’s The Jinx to Serial, the content has sparked real-life controversy over how these cases were handled. On Tuesday, the Netflix series Making a Murderer found itself at the heart of one such debate.
For those of you that haven’t seen it, the first season of Making a Murderer explored the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach by Steven Avery, who was convicted in 2007. His then-16-year-old nephew Brendan Dassey was also convicted as an accessory and sentenced to life in prison. However, Dassey’s confession remains hotly contested. On Tuesday, Dassey’s legal team filed a petition for the Supreme Court to hear his case and review the lower court’s ruling. Back in December, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Dassey’s confession was properly obtained, keeping him behind bars. His attorneys expect the Supreme Court to look at the case in late spring.
Steven Drizin, one of Dassey’s lawyers, said in a press release, “Too many courts around the country, for many years, have been misapplying or even ignoring the Supreme Court’s instructions that confessions from mentally impaired kids like Brendan Dassey must be examined with the greatest care—and that interrogation tactics which may not be coercive when applied to an adult can overwhelm children and the mentally impaired.”