You probably haven’t given Making a Murderer much thought since the original wave of hype when the gripping crime documentary hit Netflix in December 2015. Since then, there have been a few sparse updates, but to make a long story short: lawyers are still working on behalf of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey in an attempt to get their convictions (which were painted in a very dubious light in the show) overturned.
Last summer, Dassey had his conviction overturned and was on the verge of being freed. However, the state appealed that decision. On Thursday, a three-person panel of federal judges ruled 2-1 in favor of upholding the decision made by Federal Magistrate William Duffin in August 2016.
The key piece of information used to convict Dassey of Teresa Halback’s murder was his videotaped confession. Anyone who has seen the tapes of this confession, which were featured prominently in Making a Murderer, will know that there are serious doubts about the lies and manipulative tactics used by police during the interrogation.
Dassey’s ordeal isn’t over yet, though. Even though this ruling could potentially set him free, the state can appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Alternately, they could accept this decision but still re-try him within 90-days (although the confession would almost certainly be inadmissible in a future trial). And it sounds like the State of Wisconsin Attorney’s Office isn’t about to give up:
“We continue to send our condolences to the Halbach family as they have to suffer through another attempt by Mr. Dassey to re-litigate his guilty verdict and sentence,” said Johnny Koremenos, a spokesman for the office.
Meanwhile, Steven Avery is still attempting to get his conviction overturned (or obtain a new trial, at the very least), as his legal team continues to examine evidence and petition the courts.