Making a Murderer Continued: Will Brendan Dassey Ever Receive Justice?

This article first appeared on Dorf on Law.

In 1970, the University of Chicago Law Review published an article titled Is Innocence Irrelevant? Collateral Attack on Criminal Judgments by federal appeals court judge Henry Friendly.

Judge Friendly was a judicial conservative in the small-c sense, non-ideological, committed to deciding cases narrowly, and an expert legal craftsman.

As a young lawyer, Chief Justice John Roberts clerked for Friendly during Friendly’s later years, and Roberts is fond of quoting (though not always abiding by) Friendly’s aphorism that if it is not necessary to decide an issue to decide a case, it is necessary not to decide the issue.

Is Innocence Irrelevant? was somewhat uncharacteristic of Friendly in that it offered a controversial policy proposal on a politically contentious issue.