State: Keep Dassey in prison while entire court reviews case

Brendan Dassey (Photo source: Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections)

CHICAGO (WLUK) – The state of Wisconsin has asked the full Seventh Circuit of Appeals to keep Brendan Dassey in prison while it appeals a ruling overturning his conviction for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.

Last week, federal judges in Chicago ruled 2-1 to uphold the decision vacating his conviction. After that, Dassey’s attorneys asked for his release pending any state appeal.

In the motion filed this afternoon, the Wisconsin Attorney General’s office argued Dassey should stay incarcerated.

“This Court should deny the motion to lift the stay. If, however, this Court chooses to dissolve the stay, the State respectfully requests that any such order not take effect until the en banc court has the full opportunity to rule on a motion by the State to reinstate the stay pending resolution of this appeal,” the state wrote.

The state disagrees with Dassey’s attorneys argument that circumstances have substantially changed.

“Indeed, the only changed circumstance that Dassey can point to is the Merits Panel’s decision itself. But, of course, that sharply divided decision does not “resol[ve] this appeal,” Dkt. 22:2, as the State still has the right to petition for en banc review, and if it cannot obtain relief en banc, to seek Supreme Court review. The State intends to begin this process promptly, and will petition for en banc review within the 14-day window provided by this Court’s rules. Respect for the en banc (and possible Supreme Court) process, the Motions Panel’s well-considered stay decision, the powerful dissenting opinion from the Merits Panel’s holding, and the conclusion by a Wisconsin jury that Dassey committed heinous crimes all strongly militate against lifting the stay,” the state wrote.

It is not known how long it will take for the court to rule on the release request.

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