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Federal judge overturns conviction of Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey

on August 12, 2016, 5:29pm

Photo: Brendan Dassey in Netflix’s Making a Murderer

Fans of Netflix’s popular documentary series Making a Murderer will be familiar with Brendan Dassey, one of two men convicted of intentional homicide in the 2005 murder of photographer Teresa Halbach. Today, as AP reports, a federal judge in Milwaukee overturned Dassey’s conviction, meaning that he could walk free in 90 days if the state does not refile.

Dassey’s conviction has been subject to national scrutiny in the months since Making a Murderer hit Netflix. Dassey initially confessed to having committed the murder with his uncle Steven Avery, but his lawyers later argued that the confession had been forced out of him by police officers. He was 16 at the time of the murder and had been serving a lifetime prison sentence before the judge’s decision this afternoon.

As Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter John Diedrich tweeted today, the judge found that Dassey’s confession was indeed involuntary. He cited “repeated false promises,” “Dassey’s age [and] intellectual deficits,” and the “absence of [a] supportive adult” as reasons for overturning the conviction.

Watch the trailer for Making a Murderer below.

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