The focus of Netflix’s true-crime epic Making a Murderer was Steven Avery, the 54-year-old Wisconsin man convicted of the murder of Theresa Halbach in 2007. But his nephew Brendan Dassey’s simultaneous murder case was just as crucial to the show. Filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos included long sections of footage from the questionable, coercive interrogation which led to Dassey being convicted of assisting Avery in killing Halbach. The show’s case for Dassey’s innocence was convincing, and today, it seems that Dassey may finally walk free any day now.
In a Milwaukee court in August, Dassey’s original conviction was overturned. As reported by the New York Times, U.S. Magistrate William Duffin wrote in a statement that the Manitwoc Police Department’s investigators did not sufficiently inform Dassey of the consequences of his confession and testimony.
“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,” Duffin wrote. The August ruling declared that if the state did not refile the case within 90 days after the hearing, then Dassey could walk free.
According to Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV, the judge approved Dassey’s release today. The station claimed in an update to their original story that State Attorney General Brad Schimel will likely attempt to file a stay on that release order, and appeal the decision after Dassey has been released. One of the stipulations of Dassey’s release is that he will not be able to leave the Eastern District of Wisconsin for a designated period of time.
Read the new court order here. This summer, Netflix greenlit another season of Making a Murderer dealing with the post-conviction fallout of the Dassey and Avery cases. It seems safe to assume these developments in the Dassey case will be a big part of the next set of episodes. No premiere date or concrete details about the second season of the show has yet been confirmed by Netflix or the filmmakers.