Archive for December 2017

No matter how you spin it, Brendan Dassey's confession was unreliable (Part 3)

In law school, they teach us about established legal theories and landmark court decisions such as Miranda and the like, which are supposed to set the rules for the way we interact among ourselves as citizens and the way the government interacts with us. But these principles are on paper, and what’s on paper is... Read more »

Celebrating a Christmastime Birthday

My birthday is several days before Christmas. Before you go into sympathetic mode, let me preempt you. I love it. I’ve always loved it. I have never had a problem having a Christmastime birthday, even though everyone else seems to think I should. My whole life, people have kind of shaken their heads and tut-tutted... Read more »

The shameful police interrogation of Brendan Dassey (Part 2)

(In my last post, I explained that a 4-3 Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision released Dec. 8 held that Brendan Dassey’s 2006 murder confession was admissible and upheld his conviction, reversing a federal district court ruling that had granted Dassey habeas corpus relief.) For a very long time, I was one of those who... Read more »
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Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey loses quest to have confession thrown out (Part 1)

Anyone who watched Netflix’s hit 2015 documentary Making a Murderer is familiar with the case of Brendan Dassey, a 17-year-old Wisconsin youth who was convicted of helping his uncle murder Theresa Hallbach. Last Friday, a bitterly divided Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals likely defeated any remaining chance Dassey had of having his conviction overturned and... Read more »

Attempts to sanction bus operator for offensive ad could run afoul of First Amendment

Suburban Express, a Champaign-based bus line that serves Illinois college students, provoked outrage recently when it sent a promotional email to University of Illinois students that read: “You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.” The line, from what I’ve read, was an apparent reference to the allegedly high number of... Read more »