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Saturday, June 15, 2024

‘Making a Murderer’ suspect’s attorneys fight for clemency

Steven Avery’s former attorneys beg Gov. Tony Evers to commute Brendan Dassey’s conviction.

Lawyers for Steven Avery, who was charged with the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach, are now urging Gov. Tony Evers to acquit his nephew Brendan Dassey's sentence. In 2007, Dassey was also found guilty of murdering Halbach, a case made famous by the Netflix docu-series "Making a Murderer."

“The courts have failed Brendan repeatedly and at every level,” lawyers Jerome Buting and Dean Strang said. “We ask you to exercise the power that only you have: to free him. We ask you to do it now.”

Evers has awarded more pardons than any other governor in Wisconsin history, however he has yet to act on Dassey's punishment. Evers denied Dassey's pardon request in 2019, stating that his case did not fit the standards for a pardon because he had not completed his jail sentence and was obliged to register as a sex offender.

It is believed that Dassey was coerced into confessing to a crime he did not commit and he scribed a letter to Evers begging for clemency.

“I am writing to ask for a pardon because I am innocent and want to go home,” Dassey wrote. Dassey, who was enrolled in special education courses and was only 16 at the time of his arrest, did not fit the standards to be sentenced to life imprisonment with parole only being a possibility in 2048.

In an interview, Dassey explained why he confessed. “I just wanted it all over with, so I said whatever they wanted to hear you know.”

Despite his attorney’s efforts, Dassey’s case has made little progress. He continues to serve his sentence at the Oshkosh Correctional Institute in Manitowoc.

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