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TV audiences' obsession with true crime stories has been making a serious resurgence lately. In addition to the wildly popular podcast Serial, Netflix cashed in and the documentary series Making A Murderer took TV viewers by storm. The story revolving around the murder of Tessa Halbach and the seemingly shady conviction of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey captivated America, and only gained more notoriety since Avery and his nephew continued attempting to have their convictions overturned. Now it appears that exact goal has become a reality.
Steven Avery's nephew Brendan Dassey's conviction has just been overturned, and there is a distinct possibility that the 26 year old may be walking out of captivity in as soon as 90 days. Dassey's conviction was just overturned by a Judge in a Milwaukee court. According to E! News, court documents state that Brendan should be released from custody at the 90 day period, unless the State decides to retry him. If that were to happen, Dassey would remain in custody while the retrial is underway.
This announcement is sure to mind-blowing for those who watched Making A Murderer. Much of the narrative of the documentary series focused on the idea that the arrest, trial, and conviction of Brendan Dassey and Steven Avery was corrupt or mishandled. Brendan Dassey's story was told through video of his police interrogation, his phone calls with his mother while in captivity, and tapes from the actual trials.
Throughout the Netflix series, it certainly seems as though Brendan Dassey didn't know what he was confessing to when he initially stated that he and his Uncle sexually assaulted and murdered Tessa Halbach. Dassey was reportedly interrogated four times over two days, and never had a parent, guardian, or lawyer present during the proceedings. The series also heavily implied that Dassey was academically a bit behind his peers, which, in addition to the exhaustion of his interrogation, may have resulted in his false confession. In fact, Dassey later attempted to recant his confession in front of a judge during his original trial.
Of course, the Judge's overturning of Brenda Dassey's conviction doesn't necessarily mean he will be able to easily begin his life as a free man. Because the Dassey/Avery case has gained so much notoriety due to the popularity of Making A Murderer, it's distinctly possible that the state will request a retrial. If those involved in his original conviction truly believe that Dassey was guilty, they very well may continue the legal battle to keep him behind bars.
Then again, if Brendan Dassey was brought back to court it would become a massively watched trial. The tons of people who watched Making A Murderer will surely be paying attention and making their own judgements, so it could quickly become a spectacle and magnifying glass on the legal system. If there's one thing that The People Vs. O.J. Simpson has reminded us of, it's just how quickly the country can obsess over a high-profile murder trial. So now the state of Wisconsin will have to decide whether or not to bring the fiasco back to their doors.