Judge Overturns Conviction For Making A Murderer's Brendan Dassey


Today in a Milwaukee court, Making A Murderer's Brendan Dassey received major news.

Court reporters tweeted that a federal judge overturned Brendan Dassey's conviction. According to court documents, the judge ordered that he should be "released from custody unless, within 90 days of the date of this decision, the State initiates proceedings to retry him."

Federal Judge William Duffin further stated that "in the event the respondent appeals this judgment, this judgment will be stayed pending resolution of that appeal," according to E! online.

Here is the critical section from Judge Duffin's decision:

"…the state courts unreasonably found that the investigators never made Dassey any promises during the March 1, 2006 interrogation. 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….

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Brendan Dassey's petition for a writ of habeas corpus is GRANTED. The respondent shall release Dassey from custody unless, within 90 days of the date of this decision, the State initiates proceedings to retry him. See Jensen v. Schwochert, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177420, 55 (E.D. Wis. Dec. 18, 2013). The Clerk shall enter judgment accordingly."

Dassey, who was only 17 at the time, was one of the two men convicted for the murder of 25-year-old photographer Teresa Halbach. His videotaped confession played a pivotal role in his conviction, even though he later recanted his story.

In 2014, Dassey's case was taken up by the Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth legal team based in Chicago.

Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, are both serving life sentences. Avery previously served an 18 year sentence for a sexual assault that DNA evidence eventually exonerated him in 2003.

Interestingly, after the series debuted on Netflix, throngs of hardcore fans devoted themselves to trying to help exonerate Steven Avery from the murder charges for which he is currently serving a life sentence in prison. These dedicated fans were able to find something that may just prove Avery's innocence, check out that story here.


Do you think Judge Duffin was right to overturn Brendan Dassey's murder conviction?