The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of Brendan Dassey, the young Wisconsin man featured in popular 2015 Netflix true-crime documentary Making a Murderer, as the Washington Post reports. At age 16, Dassey confessed to playing a role in the 2005 rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach, the crime for which his uncle Steven Avery is currently serving a life sentence. Dassey’s lawyers have argued that police coerced their client’s confession, describing Dassey as “a juvenile with significant intellectual and social limitations.” That interpretation was largely supported by Making a Murderer, which includes video footage from Dassey’s repeated interviews with police.
Dassey was tried as an adult in 2007 and convicted of first degree murder, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse. Now age 28, he is serving a life sentence and will become eligible for parole in 2048. Following the release of Making a Murderer, a federal magistrate overturned Dassey’s conviction, ruling that his confession was involuntary and therefore unconstitutional, and for a while it looked as if he would soon be released. But Wisconsin prosecutors appealed the ruling, and last December, a federal appeals court ruled that Dassey’s confession was properly obtained and that his conviction should be upheld. As is customary, the Supreme Court did not comment on why it declined to hear the case.