For people who are still invested in the murder of Teresa Halbach from Netflix’s documentary Making a Murderer, we have a major update. On Thursday, June 22nd, a federal appeals court decided to uphold a Wisconsin judge’s decision to overturn Brendan Dassey’s murder conviction. As USA Today reported, this is a big victory for Dassey, and may lead to Steven Avery’s nephew being released from prison.
In August 2016, Dassey’s murder conviction was overturned by Federal Magistrate William Duffin of Milwaukee. As Making the Murderer argued, Duffin’s ruling was based on how Dassey seemed to give his confession to the 2005 murder of Halbach involuntarily. But that ruling didn’t mean Dassey was done with America’s justice system. After that, Dassey was supposed to be released from prison in November, but the state filed an emergency injunction to keep him jail. He has remained in prison, and the state appealed Duffin’s ruling, which led to the case going before a federal appeals panel.
Yet, on Thursday, two out of the three judges decided to uphold Duffin’s ruling, which overturned Dassey’s sentence for his involvement in the assault and murder of Halbach. One of Dassey’s lawyers, Steven A. Drizin, tweeted about the decision.
For those who watched Making a Murderer and thought the 16-year-old Dassey was coerced into a false confession, this news may bring you joy. But despite this ruling, Dassey’s time in prison and court still might not be over. USA Today wrote that the state could retry Dassey or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. If they don’t do either of those things in the next 90 days, then Dassey could be released from prison.
While there are so many unknown factors in the murder of Halbach, one thing that is certain is that the U.S. justice system is complex, and the story will continue as the families of everyone involved still struggle for answers.