In the years since Netflix breakout docuseries Making a Murderer began streaming in late 2015, fans have been closely following the appeals case of Brendan Dassey, who has challenged his conviction in the 2005 rape and murder of freelance photographer Teresa Halbach. However, it appears that appeals case has come to an end, because the Supreme Court declined to hear Dassey’s case, effectively upholding his conviction.
Dassey, who is currently serving a life sentence in prison for his role in Halbach’s murder, had been appealing his conviction on the grounds that his borderline intellectual disability led him to be coerced into confessing by police.
He first came to national attention in the Netflix docuseries, which followed the trial and conviction of Steven Avery, with his teenage nephew Dassey serving as his accomplice. In the series, the then-16-year-old — whose confession came after being interviewed by police four times in 48 hours — seemed to be led into confessing to the rape and murder after being given answers by police.
Since then, Dassey and his lawyers have been appealing his conviction. While it initially looked like there was hope for the now 28-year-old, the long legal battle has come to a disappointing end. In August 2016, a federal judge ruled in favor of Dassey, which overturned his conviction, giving the state 90 days to release him. While that initial ruling gave many Making a Murderer fans hope in Dassey’s case, in December 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld his original conviction in a 4-3 vote, leading Dassey and his lawyers to attempt to bring the case before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision to not hear the case means the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling to uphold his conviction stands.
In a statement following the Supreme Court denial to hear the case, Dassey’s lawyer Laura Nirider released a statement, per CNN, saying that she would “continue to fight for Brendan and the many other children who have been wrongfully convicted due to the use of coercive interrogation tactics.”
In 2016, Netflix renewed Making a Murderer for a second season, following the lengthy appeals process of both Dassey and Avery, the latter of whom lost his appeal for a new trial in October 2017. However, there’s been no word when new episodes will be released on Netflix.