Published Aug 12, 2016Earlier this year, Netflix had half of the world frustrated by the American judicial system with its true-crime show Making a Murderer. It looks like the show (and its subsequent petitions) paid off, as Brendan Dassey, the nephew of Steven Avery, is set for release from prison.
As TMZ reports, a federal judge in Milwaukee ruled that Dassey's constitutional rights were violated when he was interrogated by police for the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach. Dassey was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse. He was sentenced to life in prison at the age of 17.
The judge ruled that authorities acted inappropriately by grilling Dassey, then 16, without the presence of an adult — a point repeatedly highlighted by the Netflix series. Further, the judge explained that authorities were in the wrong to assure Dassey that they were on his side.
"Dassey's borderline to below average intellectual ability likely made him more susceptible to coercive pressures than a peer of higher intellect," the judge added, explaining that the prosecutors likely manipulated Dassey into a confession.
Wisconsin prosecutors have been given 90 days to act if they wish to retry Dassey.
As for Steven Avery, he was sentenced to life with no parole for 41 years after being convicted in 2007 of first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault and mutilation of a corpse in the killing of Halbach. Avery remains a convicted murder but continues to appeal that conviction.
Meanwhile, a second season of Making a Murderer is already in the works.