Convoluted Brian

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The Importance of Understanding

Dassey Trial – The Verdict

It didn’t take long. Brendan Dassey was guilty on all complaints. On 25 April, 2007 after only a couple hours deliberation, the jury announced a decision. Apparently, this jury bought into the confession mythology. It is ironic that the Steven Avery jury had real physical evidence and spent substantially more time deliberating.

Also, ironic is that charges against Avery that resulted from the Dassey confession were dropped.

I suspect it was the confession that spoke the loudest. I know many condemned Dassey after his stint as witness. We humans often judge others according to our own internal state and are unable accept that others don’t have the same wiring and chemistry as ourselves.

My view of the confession was and still is that it is very likely a false confession. This appears to be a coerced‑internalized type.

Two of the sequences I looked at, and I was not cherry picking, showed extreme leading by interrogators. In one the instances, the result was near enough to what was wanted, but investigators had to tell Dassey what they wanted. In the other, results were contradictory.

I remain convinced that the total lack of physical evidence points to the falseness as well. I simply do not believe that a crime of that magnitude could be cleaned up so well that it left only evidence that was incriminating for Steven Avery.

I believe it was a mistake for the defense to tie false confessions to intelligence. True, that lower intelligence can be a factor, but very intelligent people also confess falsely.

When authorities in England discovered that twenty percent of confessions produce by standard interrogations were false, the courts began discouraging the types of interrogations that are commonplace in the United States.

The defense had it witness problems. The psychologist Robert Gordon might have been very competent in his examination of Dassey, but he did not comport himself well as a witness. He has testified in other proceedings, but they were much different that the extreme adversarial posturing that occurs in some jury trials.

The defense could not keep Dassey from testifying although I’m sure that they wanted to. If people wanted answers, he could not provide them. Watching the interrogation videos, I don’t think he was aware, at least part of the time, that he was incriminating himself. I am also certain that when he said he didn’t know why he confessed falsely, he was telling the truth. That along with his delayed recantation signifies a coerced‑internalized confession.

There was much made of the jurors from Dane County. They were described as younger and better educated than the local Steven Avery jury. If anything, they were more gullible. The Manitowoc County jury did a thorough job examining the evidence.

I would not be surprised if this case ended up in textbooks as a great example of false confessions (and their consequences).

I asked at the beginning of the trial if a conviction could be made with a total absence of physical evidence. This jury delivered the answer.

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by Brian McCorkle
posted on 26 April, 2007 at 19:25 pm
in category Brendan Dassey

The jury found Brendan Dassey guilty despite a complete lack of physical evidence. This was a scary jury verdict.


Dassey Audio, Video, and Transcripts

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