Subject of “Making a Murderer” Documentary on Netflix May Be Exonerated
“Making a Murderer,” the true crime series released online through Netflix last year, captivated the nation with its documentary story about a Wisconsin man convicted of murder. The Netflix series caused many viewers to express outrage at the fact that Brendan Dassey, the subject of the show, had been convicted of murdering Teresa Halbach when there seemed to be evidence to suggest that he might be innocent.
Following his murder conviction in 2007, Dassey was sentenced to life imprisonment. At the time, Dassey was just a teenager. Now that sentence has been overturned by a federal judge.
In the “Making a Murderer” case, Dassey was actually charged along with Steven Avery, his uncle. Both men were accused of committing the brutal sexual assault and murder of Halbach.
Remarkably, this marks the second time that a court has determined that Avery was the victim of wrongful prosecution. Several years ago, Avery was wrongfully convicted of rape. In fact, some viewers of “Making a Murderer” believed that Avery may have been targeted by law enforcement in order to “make it right” after his earlier rape conviction was overturned.
Dassey’s connection to the murder charges was complicated by the fact that he reportedly had an extremely low IQ and may not have been mentally competent when interrogated by police officers in the aftermath of his arrest. The videotaped confession provided by Dassey to police was later used to convict both defendants in the murder case. The federal judge who recently overturned the homicide conviction said that law enforcement obtained Dassey’s confession through trickery, deceit, and “false promises.” As such, the judge ruled that the confession was not voluntarily offered and should not have been used as evidence at trial.
Now that Dassey’s conviction has been overturned, prosecutors will have 90 days to decide whether to retry the murder case.
For more information, read the ABCNews.com article, “‘Making a Murderer’ Brendan Dassey’s Conviction Overturned.”
If you are facing criminal charges for homicide, murder, or manslaughter in New Jersey, it is imperative that you talk to a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. Jill R. Cohen, Esq., is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for you. Contact The Law Offices of Jill R. Cohen now to schedule a free consultation.