The attorney for Brendan Dassey—one of the subjects of the popular Netflix documentary, “Making a Murderer”—will speak Monday, Feb. 22, at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in downtown Minneapolis.
Laura Nirider, who, in addition to representing Dassey, also serves as project director at the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, will discuss Dassey’s interrogation, and juvenile false confessions. Following her talk, Nirider will join a panel of local legal and law enforcement professionals weighing in on the topics of confessions, police interrogation and juvenile justice. Confirmed panelists include Julie Jonas, legal director of the Minnesota Innocence Project, and Perry Moriearty, Vaughan G. Papke clinical professor in law at the University of Minnesota. Additional speakers will be confirmed at a later date.
“Making a Murderer | Brendan Dassey: True Story of a False Confession” will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Schulze Grand Atrium at St. Thomas Law, 1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis. Seating is limited, and tickets are required for entry. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25, at www.stthomas.edu/law. The cost is $15.
Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were convicted in 2007 of the murder of photographer Teresa Halbach in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. The two gained national attention in December 2015 when Netflix released a 10-part documentary, "Making a Murderer," which tells the story of their arrests, trials and convictions. Their stories are complicated in part by an earlier wrongful conviction in the same county, which put Avery in prison for 18 years. DNA evidence exonerated him of that crime in 2003, though he is now serving a life sentence in Waupun, Wisconsin, for Halbach's murder. Dassey, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, is currently serving a life sentence in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
On Dassey's behalf, Nirider recently filed a writ of habeas corpus in federal court, which requests that the now 26-year-old be granted a new trial on the grounds his original confession was unconstitutionally coerced out of him, and that his pretrial lawyer, attorney Len Kachinsky, violated his constitutional right to a loyal lawyer.
For more information and to register for this event, click here. Lawyers who attend may earn 2.5 hours of continuing legal education credit (pending).