After Steven Avery was wrongly accused of murdering Teresa Halbach, Brendan Dassey was coerced into making a false confession, due to his being an alibi for Avery.
Brendan was convicted in March 2007 for the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach on Halloween in 2006. Dassey was sentenced to life in prison, with a chance for early release in 2048.
Consequently, the court finds that the confession Dassey gave to the police on March 1, 2006 was so clearly involuntary in a constitutional sense that the court of appeals’ decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.
The court does not reach this conclusion lightly. The present decision is made in full appreciation of the limited nature of the habeas remedy under AEDPA and mindful of the principles of comity and federalism that restrain federal intervention in this arena. See, e.g., id. at 15.
However, the high standard imposed by AEDPA is not a complete bar to relief. Cockrell, 537 U.S. at 340. While the circumstances for relief may be rare, even extraordinary, it is the conclusion of the court that this case represents the sort of “extreme malfunction in the state criminal justice system” that federal habeas corpus relief exists to correct.