Dassey ruling has national implications

Photo by Associated Press

FOX CITIES- Brendan Dassey, the teen who was charged as an adult in the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach, is at a crossroads.

His case has gained national attention, much due to the breakout success of the 2015 Netflix series “Making a Murderer.”

Dassey’s conviction was overturned by a federal judge, but Dassey wasn’t released from prison, because the Wisconsin Department of Justice is appealing the ruling. Since the beginning, Dassey and his lawyers have claimed that his interrogations by the Manitowoc Police Department resulted in a coerced confession from Dassey.

The USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reports that Dassey’s case has national implications for other cases involving youth who are incarcerated.

“In terms of juvenile false confessions cases, this is probably the most widely known one — the one that has captured the most attention of people,” said Lindsay C. Malloy, assistant professor in the department of psychology at Florida International University.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Malloy told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin. “There are millions of people who are aware of this case.”

Malloy said the Dassey case has focused considerable attention on wrongful convictions, false confessions and interrogations of juveniles. She said false confessions account for 42 percent of all wrongful convictions among juveniles.

The intense interest generated by the Dassey case is reminiscent of the Central Park jogger case in New York City, Malloy said. That case involved a vicious attack on a woman in 1989 and the subsequent convictions of five teenagers who confessed to the crime. They were later released from prison after the actual perpetrator was identified.

The Central Park 5 case was “huge” in terms of false confession cases, “but the attention from the Dassey case is bigger,” Malloy said.

“It’s one of the biggest cases and most widely known examples of wrongful convictions and bad interrogations, false promises of leniency.”

For more on the Dassey case, visit Post Crescent