Brendan Dassey: Making a Murderer Subject to Be Released From Prison

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Last year, Making a Murderer proved to be a massive - and massively surprising - hit for Netflix.

Part of the reason the documentary series' success was so unexpected was that it never offered viewers a traditional hero to root for:

Steven Avery Mug Shot

Virtually nothing is revealed about murder victim Teresa Halbach, and the filmmakers are less focused on her than on the circumstances of her death.

Steven Avery - even if innocent of the major crimes that have led to him spending most of his adult life behind bars - is admittedly a deeply troubled man prone to animal cruelty and fits of extreme rage.

The attorneys tasked with protecting Avery from what at times seemed to be an obvious frame-up were lauded for their efforts, but they ultimately failed to secure a not guilty verdict.

The series has spurred intense debates on social media with regard to who was responsible for Halbach's death and whether or not justice was served, but all viewers seem to agree that it's impossible to watch Murderer without feeling profound sympathy for Avery's then-teenage nephew, Brendan Dassey.

Brendan Dassey Photo

Now 27, Dassey has been serving a life sentence since 2007 after being convicted of aiding Avery in Halbach's murder.

Dassey was just 16 when he was arrested, and he had previously been diagnosed with several moderate to severe intellectual impairments.

Murderer featured footage in which investigators coerce a confession from Dassey, telling the teen that they won't be able to "protect" him unless he signs a statement accepting responsibility for Halbach's death.

Dassey clearly doesn't understand the implications of his confession, and maintains, even while signing the statement that he was in no way involved with the murder.

Steven Avery

Back in August a judge ordered that Dassey be released from prison after serving nearly a decade behind bars.

At the time, it was determined that prosecutors would have 90 days in order to decide if they wished to challenge the ruling and re-try the case.

The state of Wisonsin filed a motion to prevent Dassey's release earlier this week, but they were overruled by U.S. Magistrate William Duffin, who has ruled that Dassey is to be released by 8 pm on Friday night.

"In the motion to stay the respondent largely re-argues the same points already considered and rejected by the court in deciding Dassey’s motion for release," Duffin wrote in his decision.

"The court finds that reconsideration of these arguments yields the same conclusion. The respondent’s motion to stay is denied."

Dassey's mother never stopped fighting for his release, and family insiders say she has been excitedly preparing his bedroom and planning his favorite meal for Friday evening.

As for Avery, he filed an appeal in January and will go to trial with a new attorney in the months to come.

A second season of Making a Murderer featuring the many developments in the case is reportedly in the works.

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