Followers of the hugely popular Netflix documentary series Making A Murderer were dismayed to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear Brendan Dassey’s appeal for the murder of Teresa Halbach. Dassey and his lawyers have spent the better part of a decade arguing that his confession to the crime was coerced by detectives who took advantage of his age (16 at the time) and IQ (below 70). The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the case was the last stop for that particular legal argument, which means the confession stands and cannot be challenged again.
That doesn’t mean Dassey is completely out of legal options, though. As it stands, Dassey’s next best hope is that something happens through his uncle/accomplice Steven Avery’s appeal. There’s a pile of evidence linking Avery to the murder of Teresa Halbach, most of it considered controversial by Making A Murderer viewers. If his team is able to prove any of it was planted or manipulated by law enforcement, that would blow both cases right open.
In June of 2017, Avery’s lawyer filed a lengthy 1,272-page motion for a retrial based on new forensic testing. But as it stands, we’re seeing a game of dueling forensic experts with the state’s experts saying one thing and Avery’s team saying another. Add in a technicality that may keep Avery from presenting his evidence because he filed a previous appeal in 2015, and it will be an uphill battle for Avery’s lawyer to even get a judge to hold a hearing on their findings, let alone agree that evidence may have been planted.
Avery’s attorney, Jerome Buting, spoke out on Twitter to express his disappointment over the latest Dassey development.