A federal judge has overturned the conviction of Brendan Dassey, who along with his uncle has been the subject of Netflix’s Making a Murderer docu-series.
This will give the state three months to appeal before Dassey is exonerated.
Making a Murderer: Brendan Dassey to likely remain in prison for at least next year
However, after Federal Judge William E. Duffin reversed Dassey’s conviction, legal experts have said it is likely the 26-year-old will remain in prison for at least the next year.
Dassey was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the 2005 killing of photographer Teresa Halbach, who was at the Avery salvage yard taking pictures for a magazine. Dassey was accused of acting as his uncle’s accomplice in the crime.
“I think the attorney general of Wisconsin will appeal Friday’s decision because the supreme court of Wisconsin affirmed the verdict with pretty much the same facts in front of it,” Joe Friedberg, a Minnesota defense attorney who is familiar with the case, said, as reported by People. “I think the attorney general will feel compelled to defend the supreme court’s decision.”
The decision to overturn the conviction came after the judge ruled that Dassey’s confession was not voluntary as the investigators assured him “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,” the ruling said.
Making a Murderer: Steven Avery’s former lawyers “very gratified” over decision to reverse Brendan Dassey’s conviction
Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, former lawyers of Steven Avery, also spoke about the decision. “Dean and I are very gratified that a federal judge has found Brendan Dassey’s statements to law enforcement were coerced and involuntary,” Buting said, as reported by the New York Daily News. “The court found ‘the investigators’ actions amounted to deceptive interrogation tactics.”