The real life story behind Netflix’s Making a Murderer continues to unfold. On Thursday, a federal appeals court upheld the previous ruling to overturn Brendan Dassey’s murder conviction. This decision comes nearly one year after a lower court in Wisconsin ruled to overturn Dassey’s conviction.
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 strongly depicted Dassey as mentally unfit and as being wrongly coerced into confessing to any involvement with the murder of Teresa Halbach. 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.
In August of last year, 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. This is what led to his sentencing being overturned.
Today, in a 2-to-1 decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that Dassey had been misled during his supposed confession. The ruling states:
“To be sure Dassey’s confession was not a smooth and consistent story. There were holes in the narrative. Dassey waffled and backtracked. The sequence of events was not always clear. The majority, reviewing the interview with its defense-friendly ‘key’ in hands, takes these inconsistencies as proof that Dassey was not recounting real memories but only telling the investigators what he believed they wanted to hear.”
As a result of this ruling, the state of Wisconsin has 90 days during which they could retry Dassey. Additionally, the case could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Last year, Netflix had announced that it was ordering a new season of Making a Murderer however, no additional details have been released since then. Steven Avery is still serving a life sentence which has not been impacted by Dassey’s news.
A karaoke obsessed, craft beer enthusiast and lover of all things pop culture, Denise enjoys all facets of entertainment from Broadway to box office blockbusters. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, concerts (lots and lots of concerts), volunteering, reading and playing with her rescue kitten, Samantha (who rescued who, right?).