Court Decides 'Making a Murderer's' Brendan Dassey Is Innocent After All

brendan dasseyHuge news for anyone with a history of repeatedly binge-watching the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer: Brendan Dassey's conviction for the 2006 murder of Teresa Halbach has been overturned by a federal judge on the grounds that his confession was "involuntary." Steven Avery's nephew, who was 16 at the time of Halbach's murder, was sentenced to 41 years in prison on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse -- but will be released within the next three months.


According to a copy of Judge William Duffin's decision obtained by People, the conduct of Dassey's first attorney, Len Kachinsky, was "indefensible" (a sentiment echoed by many viewers, thousands of whom signed a White House petition asking President Obama to issue Dassey a full pardon). The decision reads:

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. 

More from CafeMom: What 'Making a Murderer' Subject Brendan Dassey Looks Like After a Decade in Prison (PHOTO)

If you watched the show at all, you're no doubt nodding in agreement right about now. While the case against Steven Avery did seem to be somewhat, well, full of holes (and possibly evidence planted by the police), the case against Dassey seemed positively invented by law enforcement -- at no time at all did the teen seem to understand the full extent of the accusations or what was at stake. Even viewers who suspected Avery to indeed be guilty of Halbach's murder had a hard time believing Dassey was involved, and there was no question the "confession" he gave was obtained in a completely wrong and illegal way. (Dassey himself recanted the account he gave investigators Tom Fassbender and Mark Wiegert of helping his uncle shoot Halbach and burn her body, later telling his mother that "they [Fassbender and Wiegert] got in my head" during the hours of questioning.)

More from CafeMom: 'Making a Murderer' Inspires Fierce Fan Debate Over Its Subject's Innocence

So while this new development doesn't necessarily bring us any closer to knowing what actually happened to Teresa Halbach, at least a (most likely) innocent man who just wasted a decade of his life in prison will at last be set free. Of course, the question now is whether or not this means anything for Steven Avery, who is currently serving a life sentence for Halbach's murder. Kathleen Zellner, Dassey and Avery's new attorney, says she is confident that "when an unbiased court reviews all of the new evidence we have, Steven will have his conviction overturned as well." 

Perhaps the currently-in-production second season of Making a Murderer will have some answers? We can only hope!


Image via Netflix



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