In a shocking revelation today, a federal court in Wisconsin overturned the conviction of Making a Murderer‘s Brendan Dassey who, since the age of 16, had been serving time in connection with the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach.
Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were the subjects of the Netflix Docuseries, Making a Murderer, which publically followed their trial and convictions as well as examined the evidence and possible corruption within the investigation, allowing viewers of the series to form their own opinions of Avery and Dassey’s guilt or innocence.
The docuseries suggested that Dassey was mentally unfit and was wrongly coerced into confessing to any involvement with Halbach’s murder. Despite the evidence shown within the series, Dassey had been sentenced to 41 years in prison on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse.
Today, Judge William E. Duffin stated that the state courts failed in their ruling that Dassey was not misled or made false promises to during his interrogation in 2006. The court order stated:
“The investigators repeatedly claimed to already know what happened on October 31 and assured Dassey that he had nothing to worry about. These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.”
Just last month, Netflix announced it was ordering a new season of Making a Murderer. With this ruling, if the state chooses not to refile, Dassey will be free within 90 days. Steven Avery, however, is still serving a life sentence which has not been impacted by Dassey’s news.
Source: New York Times