After Netflix's release of the shocking documentary series in 2015, Making A Murderer, the world was suddenly called attention to the imprisonment of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey. Viewers of the show watched as Dassey, who was only 17 years old at the time, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Theresa Halbach. On Friday, a federal judge overturned Dassey's conviction, leaving fans of the show to wonder when will Brendan Dassey be released from prison — but they might not have to wonder for much longer.
How much longer is that? According to court documents obtained by journalist Mike Hayes, Dassey must be released from prison within 90 days from the decision by Judge William E. Duffin. Duffin made his decision on Friday, Aug, 12. This puts Dassey's projected release date from prison any time between the remaining days in August until November — so around three months from now.
But there is one exception to Dassey's release. According to court documents, Dassey could not be released from custody if the state decides to retry him. The State Department of Justice declined to comment on the case and all previous charges against Dassey. Therefore, there is no telling as to whether or not the state will retry him and delay Dassey's release date.
Judge Duffin had some pretty strong words about Brendan Dassey's appointed lawyer and the reliability of Dassey's confession, coming to the conclusion that Dassey should be released from custody. In the official judgement for release, Judge Duffin wrote:
However, the state courts unreasonably found that the investigators never made Dassey any promises during the March 1, 2006 investigation. The investigators repeatedly claimed to already know what happened on October 31 and assured Dassey that he had nothing to worry about. These false promises, when considered in 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 Wisconsin Court of Appeals' decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established Federal Law.
If prosecutors do decide to decide to appeal within 90 days, Dassey could alternatively get a new trial, according to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. Dassey's attorneys did not respond to requests for comments.
This decision is huge for fans of Making A Murderer, who watched footage of Dassey being coerced into giving a confession to police on the Netflix series just a few months ago. At times, it felt like the conversation was not about whether or not Dassey was innocent or guilty — it was about Dassey whether or not Dassey was manipulated or exploited. Given by Duffin's ruling it appears he feels the same way.