Un-Making a Murderer: Brendan Dassey Ordered to Be Released From Prison

By George Khoury, Esq. on November 15, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

This past August, a federal judge ordered the release of Brendan Dassey, who is best known as the subject of the 2015 documentary 'Making a Murderer' for his alleged role in the rape and murder of a 25 year old woman in 2005. The overturned conviction was big news back in August of this year, but now, after a few weeks of fighting over whether he should remain in custody pending a retrial, Dassey is actually set to be released.

The documentary exposed the plight of Brendan Dassey, who was 16 years old at the time of his arrest. Dassey was shown being coerced into confessing, as well as being abandoned and railroaded by his court appointed attorney. Ultimately he was sentenced on nothing but the coerced confession. While some may still be nervous about his release, there are still many conditions that he will need to satisfy, and he will be registered as a sex offender.

Making a Mistrial?

The documentary focused on shining a light on the situation of Steven Avery, who is Brendan Dassey's uncle, and whom the film-makers suggest was framed. Avery was falsely convicted of a crime in 1985, and served 18 years of a 25 year sentence before being released as a result of the innocence project. In 2005, after only being out for two years, he was arrested for rape and murder.

While the film calls Avery's guilt into question, it clearly shows Dassey's attorney acting in ways that make you question his fitness. Dassey's conviction was largely overturned because of his attorney's failures prior to the trial. While Dassey was in custody, his attorney was not present during questioning on multiple occasions, which led to the coerced confession. Dassey will soon be released as the coerced confession has been ruled inadmissible, which effectively dismantles the prosecution's case.

The Innocence Project

In 1992, the Innocence Project started its mission of working to exonerate wrongly convicted individuals. One of the main focuses of the project is using DNA evidence to show that a person was wrongfully convicted. However, the project routinely works on other types of matters.

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