Judge orders ‘Making a Murderer’s’ Brendan Dassey be released during appeal
On Monday, a judge ordered the release of Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey from prison while his overturned conviction is appealed. Dassey, now 27, had his murder conviction overturned by a federal judge in August but has remained in jail as prosecutors work up their case to appeal that decision. He will still be under supervision and could go back to prison if the appeal is successful, but Making a Murderer fans rooting for Dassey have been waiting for his release since binge-watching the first season.
Initially convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach along with his uncle, Steven Avery, in 2007 on counts of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilation of a corpse, and first-degree sexual assault, Dassey has been behind bars since he was a teenager. He was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 2048, but his conviction was overturned when a federal judge ruled his confession was “involuntary” based on “false promises” made by interrogators, as well as citing issues with Dassey’s age and “intellectual deficits.”
When that happened, the judge gave the state of Wisconsin 90 days to decide whether or not to retry Dassey, and the same judge ordered that he be released pending any future court proceedings under the watch of the U.S. Probation Office.
According to The Daily Mail, Dassey is prohibited from having any contact with Halbach’s family or Avery, who’s still in prison without the chance for parole, as well as obtaining a gun or any controlled substances (which is normal for anyone on parole).
Netflix announced this summer that a second season of Making a Murderer is in the works, following Dassey and Avery post-conviction. “The new installments will take fans of the acclaimed documentary series back inside the story of convicted murderer Steven Avery, and his co-defendant, Brendan Dassey, as their respective investigative and legal teams challenge their convictions and the State fights to have the convictions and life sentences upheld,” Netflix’s press release said. Now there will actually be some action to capture.
If Dassey goes back to trial, it will likely be a long, drawn-out process once again. Prosecutors face the challenge of re-examining a case that’s a decade old, which means every piece of evidence is now that old and the alleged crime scene is no longer in tact.
Avery’s new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, is still working on getting his conviction overturned and claims to have new evidence proving his innocence. However, nothing has happened yet in terms of getting him out of prison.