Brendan Dassey, the “Making a Murderer” subject who was just 17 years old when he was convicted of the murder of Teresa Halbach, has had his convictions overturned.
Dassey was convicted in 2007 to 41 years in prison on first-degree intentional homicide, second-degree sexual assault, and mutilation of a corpse.
John Diedrich of the Journal Sentinel is reporting that Dassey will go free in 90 days if state prosecutors do not refile charges.
According to TMZ, a federal judge in Milwaukee ruled that Dassey’s constitutional rights were violated when authorities questioned him without an adult present.
Additionally, the judge said that Dassey’s learning disabilities made him more susceptible to coercion by interrogators.
Further, the judge disapproved of the interrogators’ use of bluffing during Dassey’s questioning. They told the teen at least 21 times that they knew exactly what happened to Halbach. The judge felt that would have had larger than usual effect on Dassey.
Dassey is one of the primary subjects of Netflix’s hit true-crime docuseries “Making a Murderer,” which tracks the trials of both Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery, who were both convicted for the 2005 murder of Halbach on their family property in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.
Many who watched “Making a Murderer” were particularly aghast at the treatment of Dassey, who is learning-disabled and whose interrogation with police may have been marred by “interview contamination” — in which police let details slip to potential witnesses or suspects, leading them to believe and repeat certain facts.
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