SCOTUS Should Enforce Protections for Children During Police Interrogations
This piece originally appeared in The National Law Journal. It is partially republished here with the permission of the NLJ.
On June 14, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider whether to take the case of Brendan Dassey—the intellectually impaired Wisconsin teenager who falsely confessed to participating in the 2005 killing of Teresa Halbach. Because Dassey’s case raises crucial issues concerning the way impaired children are protected—or not—during police interrogation, the high court should agree to hear his case.
Dassey‘s story was captured in painstaking—and painful—detail in the Netflix docuseries “Making a Murderer.” Millions watched in horror as interrogators questioned the 16-year old without an adult by his side and fed him a false narrative that he eventually was duped into accepting. Using calculation, prodding and feigned concern for his welfare, a pair of interrogators skillfully persuaded Dassey to admit killing someone for whom there is no evidence he ever even met.