On the 12th of August, a federal judge threw out Making A Murderer subject Brendan Dassey’s conviction for the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach and ruled that the state of Wisconsin had 90 days to free him. The 26 year old has spent the last ten years in jail for a crime many are convinced he had nothing to do with, and now he’s on the verge of freedom.
According to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, an appeal of the judge’s decision to overturn Brendan’s conviction must be filed within 30 days of the order. That gives the Wisconsin attorney general until the 12th of September to appeal. The state still has the full 90 days to order a retrial, but that’s extremely unlikely given the lack of evidence against Dassey and the media attention surrounding the case. An appeal merely asks another federal judge to weigh in on whether the previous judge’s decision to throw out Brendan’s conviction was valid.
Rumors swirled that the Wisconsin Department of Justice was planning to make an announcement last Friday regarding Brendan’s fate, with Steven Avery attorney Kathleen Zellner going so far as to tweet that the attorney general “will announce the only moral, just and definsible decision for BD: It is over.” She later deleted that and replaced it with a less definitive declaration.
Wisconsin attorney general Brad Schimel denied the claims, telling WBAY TV “I’m not prepared to make any announcements on that yet. We have made some decisions, but I’m not prepared to announce that right now.” Earlier, he had said the decision would be made with the input of Teresa Halbach’s family.
Brendan’s potential release is the latest movement in cases related to the Netflix true crime documentary series Making A Murderer. Last week, Brendan’s uncle Steven Avery had a motion to retest evidence filed by his lawyer, which is the first substantial step in their plan towards exonerating him and finding the real killer.
Public opinion on Avery’s guilt or innocence remains split, with many fans of the show spending endless hours online combing over trial transcripts and evidence attempting to solve the mystery of what really happened to victim Teresa Halbach on the night of October 31st, 2005.