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‘Making a Murderer’: What Brendan Dassey Decision Means for Steven Avery

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His nephew’s conviction was overturned, but will that mean anything for the main subject of the hit Netflix show?

On Friday, a federal judge in Wisconsin overturned the murder and sexual assault convictions of Brendan Dassey, and ordered his release from prison unless prosecutors schedule a new trial within 90 days. Dassey and his uncle, Steven Avery, were convicted for photographer Teresa Halbach’s 2005 murder and sentenced to life in prison, but their case became the subject of international attention thanks to the Netflix docuseries Making A Murderer. At the time of Halbach’s murder, Avery was just two years out of prison after serving 18 years for a rape he did not commit, and was on the brink of winning a $36 million lawsuit against Manitowoc County and the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department. The documentary gave credence to the theory that Avery might have been framed for Halbach’s murder in order to thwart the lawsuit.

The federal court’s unexpected and rare decision to overturn Dassey’s conviction is a massive win for the now 26-year-old, because unlike the case against Avery, which is full of physical evidence – contested though it may be – the only thing prosecutors had that linked Dassey to Halbach’s murder was his involuntary confession. However, prosecutors never called Dassey to testify at Avery’s trial, nor did they use his confession as evidence against Avery in court, so its suppression won’t have any immediate impact on Avery’s case. However, it stands to wonder whether the timing of this decision in Dassey’s favor, especially after all his state appeals had been denied, is a sign that the Wisconsin county’s beef with the Avery family is losing ground.

Read more at RollingStone.com…

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