Netflix “Making a Murderer”: Brendan Dassey’s Conviction Overturned by US Federal Judge

US Magistrate William Duffin releases Dassey, argues Dassey did not receive a fair trial

Brendan Dassey’s conviction overturned by Federal Judge by NBC 26

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US Federal Judge William Duffin has released Brendan Dassey, featured in Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” series. Brendan Dassey was convicted along with his uncle Steven Avery in the murder of Teresa Halbach in 2005.

Brendan Dassey has learning difficulties and was 16 at the time of Teresa Halbach’s murder. Both Dassey and Avery were sentenced to life in prison.

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US Magistrate William Duffin said that investigators made false promises to Dassey by assuring him that he had “nothing to worry about” and the investigators violated Dassey’s Fifth Amendment rights to a fair trial and the right to silence, both guaranteed by the US Constitution. In addition, the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing equal treatment before the law, was also violated.

“These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction 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 14th Amendments.”

– William Duffin

Dassey’s appeal of his conviction was overturned on appeal in the state courts. The case rose to prominence with the release of Netflix’s critically acclaimed series “Making a Murderer” in December 2015. The film demonstrated the inconsistencies in the legal system that led to Brendan Dassey’s conviction and also goes into detail about Brendan Dassey’s uncle, Steven Avery, a man wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years for sexual assault. Upon his release he was accused and convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach, a photographer for the publication Auto Trader Magazine. Halbach’s burned remains were found on Avery’s property, a car salvage lot, a week after she had arrived at his lot to photograph a minivan.

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