The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Wisconsin man whose murder conviction was the subject of a popular Netflix documentary series, Making a Murderer on Monday.
Brendan Dassey, who is now 28, was 16 when he confessed to two sheriff’s office investigators that he aided his uncle, Steven Avery, in raping, murdering, and mutilating a freelance photographer named Teresa Halbach in 2005. Although no physical evidence connected him to the crimes, a jury convicted him to a life sentence based on his statements to the investigators.
Dassey’s lawyers claim that throughout the four interrogations that occurred within the span of 48 hours, law enforcement took advantage of the teenager’s “significant intellectual and social limitations” to coerce a confession in violation of his constitutional rights.
“Juveniles and those with intellectual deficits are at a particular risk of confessing involuntarily—and often falsely—under the strain of coercive police tactics,” Seth Waxman, a former U.S. solicitor general who encouraged the Supreme Court to hear the case, told NBC News.
Making a Murderer reached nearly 20 million people worldwide and earned six Emmy nominations for its depiction of the controversial case.
Dassey has served 12 years thus far of his life sentence in prison.