Making a Murderer case: Has Brendan Dassey been released?

Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin have taken on Brendan Dassey's case. (Photo: Netflix)
Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin have taken on Brendan Dassey's case. (Photo: Netflix)
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Making a Murderer is back on Netflix, bringing with it all the drama happening in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin.

Brendan Dassey and Stephen Avery have been appealing their convictions for more than seven years, with every twist and turn generating headlines since part one of the documentary shone a light on the case.

The latest episode – in the second series of the show – will include Avery’s new lawyer, Kathleen Zellner, as well as Dassey’s post-conviction team Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin.

But it is not clear whether or not Brendan has actually been released, even though a June news story suggested his appeal had been rejected.

In 2007, aged just 19, Dassey was sentenced to life in prison with a possibility of parole in 2048. He has already served 12 years.

Part two of Making a Murderer is looking at the appeals processes in his case, showing just how difficult the justice system can be to navigate.

This February Dassey’s legal team sought a Supreme Court judicial review of his case but were unsuccessful, leaving Dassey in prison.

Back in August 2016, federal magistrate William Duffin granted a petition from Dassey for a writ of habeas corpus, allowing him a retrial.

Dassey’s prosecutors were given 90 days to retry or release him after his confession was deemed to be involuntary.

In episode five, Zellner, who is visiting the Avery’s residence to investigate something in his case, sees Chuck Avery, who is assisting her – take a personal phone call.

Read more: Making a Murderer case: Is Steven Avery still in prison?

Avery tells Zellner: “I just found out something. This is Carla, my daughter. Brendan’s getting released…”

Kathleen asks: “Is he? Today?”

Avery’s daughter Carla then explains that Duffin’s decision has just come online.

When Zellner asks further if they’re “going to do it [let Dassey out] today”, Carla says it will happen “as soon as they get an address of where he’s going to be tonight…I believe so.”

The pair then drive to Brendan’s mother’s place of work to tell her the news, as she will need to go to the prison to fetch him. And despite her boss initially refusing to let her leave, she leaves work following a phone call from her son’s lawyer, saying: “He’s coming home.”

We know that, at that moment in time, the family and Zellner believe Dassey will be getting out on the day.

But this did not end up happening because state prosecutors filed emergency documents, ordering Dassey to stay in prison pending an appeal.

His case then went to the United States Appeals Court for the Seventh Circuit after the State filed a motion in which both sides presented their cases to a panel of three.

That panel affirmed the Duffin decision to release Dassey – but even so there was another twist to come.

The state had one more go, and at last in December 2017, won an appeal at the Seventh Circuit by four votes to three.

This story was originally reported in the i news.

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