Making A Murder’s Brandon Dassey’s conviction is overturned


While fans of true crime stories eagerly await the return of the Netflix series Making A Murderer, one of the story’s key players may find himself a free man. Brendan Dassey, who in 2005 was accused of the murder of Teresa Halbach along with his uncle, Steven Avery, was found by a federal judge to have been wrongfully convicted of the crime and could be free within the next 90 days.

If you saw the documentary series, you saw how Dassey was pretty much led to confess to the crime. After many appeals, a federal court finally agreed. Dassey’s attorneys, with the Center on Wrongful Convictions for Youth, filed a federal petition for writ of habeas corpus claiming Dassey’s constitutional rights had been violated. Dassey’s attorneys argued that the then 16-year-old was denied access to effective counsel, violating his Sixth Amendment rights. They also claimed that his 5th and 14th Amendment rights were violated when he was coerced into making his confession. Then, on Friday, Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin ruled in Dassey’s favor. The state now has 90 days to either retry him or set him free.

Upon hearing the news, show creators Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos released the following statement:

“Today there was a major development for the subjects in our story and this recent news shows the criminal justice system at work. As we have done for the past 10 years, we will continue to document the story as it unfolds, and follow it wherever it may lead.”

[From Deadline]

Unfortunately for Laura and Moira, cameras weren’t rolling when the decision was made and Dassey’s family was out of town. Even though they may have missed filming the immediate reaction, there’s still sure to be lots of drama for the cameras. Oh, and on a lighter note, there’s a petition on to send the wrestling-loving Dassey to go to Wrestlemania.

The man still at the center of it all, 54-year-old Steven Avery, still contends that he’s destined to be found innocent of the charges that he murdered Teresa Halbach back in 2005 and will eventually be a free man.

In an phone interview from prison with In Touch magazine, Avery asserted that, with the help of his new legal team “I’m going to be free.” He went on to clarify his statement, saying “I’m 1,000 percent confident that I’ll be free.” It will certainly be interesting to see what happens now. I, myself, can’t wait to binge watch season 2.




You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

25 Responses to “Making A Murder’s Brandon Dassey’s conviction is overturned”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Betti says:

    Finally justice see’s sense- that poor kid was set up by the police and his own lawyer (who should be disbarred). Sadly if he gets compensation for wrongful imprisonment his unpleasant family (who couldn’t be bothered to turn up to the hearing and support him) will happily spent it for him.

    Regardless of the fact that he didn’t get a fair trial – I still think that Avery is a suspect thou saying that the bf is shady as fk and should have been investigated as well.

    • qwerty says:

      His ex lawyer… is a judge now.

      As for compensation, he still might be charged with another murder before he gets the money, you know.

      • Betti says:

        I am shocked and disgusted – must’ve been what he was promised to make sure the kid went into the slammer. I hope the authorities go after him anyway.

        What other murder?

    • bettyrose says:

      What I find the most damning evidence against Steven Avery is that he never spoke up in Brandon’s defense. I don’t know if Avery is guilty. The series left me really uncertain on that, but without a doubt Dassey is innocent. The FKing school bus driver provided an alibi for him, but even without that the tapes of his interrogation could not more plainly show that he doesn’t understand what’s going on (and that’s all true even without the travesty of his being interviewed with no parents or child advocates, despite his age and IQ).

      And what’s more rage inducing is the reality that this must happen all the time when no cameras are rolling.

  2. Pinky says:

    This is very good news. The state might appeal, but it will be a lost and costly (to the tax payers) cause. The judge adhered strictly to the law and precedent set by the US Supreme Court in his ruling, and his ruling is pretty much airtight.

    I am cautiously optimistic and hope that this helps lead to the dismantling of the Avery case as well. YES, I’ve read everything online about the case and YES I know the stuff that the documentary left out. None of it is convincing in terms of proving his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the standard upon which a jury must operate. The prejudices people held against Avery (for his prior petty crimes, his impoverished and “trashy” family, and, yes, animal cruelty) are what caused this miscarriage of justice. Jurors must suppress those prejudices and decide cases based only on the facts presented, not on their distaste for the human beings and their overall body of (criminal) work.

    Those prejudices are what give people the ammunition to claim Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin had their deaths coming. We as a society can operate with only one of these two standards: allow 1000 innocent men to be incarcerated rather than let one guilty one go free, or allow 1000 guilty men go free rather than let one innocent man be jailed. Only one of these is right, and only one is constitutional. (Hint: they are the same one.)


    • Maya Memsaab says:

      Total lay-person comment here, but from what I can remember, didn’t they prosecute Brendan SOLELY on the basis of his confession? There was absolutely no physical evidence to corroborate either the events as stated in his coerced confession or any involvement of his otherwise. Also if I recall correctly, they didn’t even use his confession in the Avery trial because it was so inconsistent. And now, the federal judge has basically ripped the confession apart to shreds. So, if the State is stupid enough to appeal, apart from the PR shitstorm that will hit them, what grounds could they possibly appeal on?

  3. Abigail says:

    Very good news. The “confession” scene shows how people, especially young people, can be led to confess to things they have not done. The judge was apparently shocked that his lawyer had allowed him to be questioned alone, and rightly so–I hope the lawyer faces some consequences for this.

    • NotSoSocialButterfly says:

      No attorney during the questioning of a minor with borderline intellectual functioning. No parental permission or notification. That’s a travesty of justice if ever there were one.

  4. Cora says:

    In my mind justice is finally served. The real and only killer of Teresa Halbach is behind bars where he belongs. To me, there was no question of Brendan’s innocence. Just as I have no doubt of Avery’s guilt. I’m confident that if there is another trial for Avery he will be found guilty. There was a lot that documentary left out.

    • Pinky says:

      @cora The case and search warrants against Avery were largely based on Dassey’s false, IMO, and at least involuntary, in the court’s opinion, confession. With those things gone, the case against Avery starts to crumble as well.


    • Lenn says:

      I find it so interesting that you have no doubt about his guilt. I mean, I can see how maybe you would lean towards guilty, but having no doubt…? Can you explain to me how that can be after watching the series? What exactly was left out that would prove something?

      • LolaBones says:

        Many people believe hes capable of murder because he once killed the family cat when drunk. Although it was disgusting and I dislike him as a person it doesnt mean he killed Teresa.

    • bettyrose says:

      I mostly agree with you. The investigation was BS, but that doesn’t mean Avery didn’t do it. Even if Avery is completely innocent, his total willingness to let Dassey go down for the crime to me suggests the mind of a dangerous narcissist. I’m glad that a light is being shown on the failings of our justice system, and I hope Avery’s case is explored more fully and some real answers come out (about him and the justice system) but I too think he’s probably guilty.

  5. I can’ t believe Avery is still in after the blatant lying and tampering with evidence. I mean, that syringe in the blood sample would have been enough for most courts but when you get a small, seemingly corrupt town with a poor, trashy family added to the mix, that’s a recipe for disaster.

    Thankfully, this poor kid is out. But his life will never be the same.

  6. laura says:

    I always thought his conviction was a joke and hope he gets out. He was so obviously set up and so many things were done badly that I don’t understand how a single juror found him guilty. He’s lost a few years of his life but can hopefully rebuild. Avery I have mixed feelings about. Some elements of the case don’t add up to me, like how quickly Teresa’s car was found on his property, but I still feel he could’ve done it. Either way I don’t think Teresa has had justice because the wrong person (or possibly people) are in prison for her murder.

    • Ryan Lochte's speedo says:

      You say that “[h]e’s lost a few years of his life”, oh dear… he spent a bit more than half of it in prison!

      18 years on a wrongful conviction for the first one and currently 11 years for a framing job.

      It all started becos of his cousin that went around slandering him about an alleged indecent exposure incidents that she had attempted to backtrack during her court testimony. She was/is married to a Manitowoc County Sheriff (MTSO) at the time.

      She also testified on how much she HATED Steven.

      Although I do not condone how he reacted by running her vehicle off the road and pulling an unloaded .22 at her face after finally blowing his gasket, I cannot, for the life of me, find any sort of sympathy for her.

      Remember now, Steven has an IQ of 70. His actions/reactions are within his capacity of what he knows.

      I’ve read comments from others that it was a mate of his that actually “tossed the cat over the fire” in that infamous docuseries storytelling.

      This story goes beyond what the MaM showed. It goes further than the court transcriptions as well.

      There is a CASO report that can be found online that delves further.

      Those alleged bones that were found in the burn pit/barrels?

      Have never been claimed to belong to Halbach. In fact, it’s mostly avian and other types of animal bones that were found. Also, if she actually is dead (another hypothesis that she could, very much be alive on account of her family’s quietness over the years), she certainly was NOT killed nor burnt there.

  7. Emily says:

    I hope Dassey gets out and he moves the heck out of this county. I know his family has deep ties to the place, but he needs to get out.

  8. Dani says:

    I don’t think Brandon had anything to do with the murder and only confessed under pressure/lack of intelligence. Unfortunately it’s been shown that his IQ level was never where it was supposed to be, and he does seem on the spectrum, But, I do believe Avery is 100000% guilty (as well as the shady AF boyfriend who probably hired Avery to help him). He just comes off as so insane and deluded in the documentary. We can’t forget that there’s over 700 hour so footage and we only saw a fraction of it. I think they’ll let Brandon out but I don’t think Avery will see the justice he thinks he deserves.

    • Cdoggy says:

      All the + ‘s to what you said. Brandon should have never been put in the position to talk with police without an advocate present. Avery, on the other hand….guilty, guilty, guilty

      • Ryan Lochte's speedo says:

        LMAO… you two do not even come close to knowing what is gunno blow up later this month.

        Obvioulsy neither you or the poster you were replying to have researched beyond just watching the docuseries.

        It’s fine that you believe his guilt. But you’re ONLY basing it on what you watched.

        The CASO report goes all the way to the filthy, corrupted bones of Wisconsin DoJ and MTSO (Manitowoc County Sheriff Department).

        The bones that were found in the burn pit/barrels have never been conclusive in proving it belonged to Teresa Halbach. In fact, MOST of the bones are actually a mixture of avian and other animal types. LOL!!!

        How can one murder have two separate crime scenes? How, if the cremains belonged to the victim, could Kratz claim that she was raped, had her throat sliced open, bleeding everywhere, stabbed in the belly, hair chopped off, bullets to her head and body?

        Other than a coerced confession, there has never been conclusive proof. Any “evidences found” has been proven to be planted.

        But one thing that I can agree with the pair of you is… Brendan is definitely innocent and all those involved in his incarceration ought to be brought to justice.

  9. Bre says:

    Dassey was the one I really felt sorry for. I don’t know if Avery guilty or not but he seemed to not care about his nephew at all during the trials. His parents (Dassey’s grandparents) also seemed more focused on Avery’s trial than Dassey.

  10. rosie says:

    Poor Brendan, ten years lost, but in a way he should be grateful he wasn’t left to rot away in jail. It was so hard to watch him being manipulated during the interrogation. It’s unbelievable that these kind of miscarriages of justice still happen.

  11. Mark says:

    He might have to face a wrongfull death suite by the victms relatives, since they can make him an acomplice in a murder chase. It will be like O.J. Simpson, who lost such a lawsuite.