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Movies & TV

02nd Oct 2019

Making a Murderer’s Brendan Dassey is petitioning for clemency

Alan Loughnane

Brendan Dassey

The case hasn’t gone away.

Brendan Dassey, the man whose murder conviction is at the centre of Netflix’s Making a Murderer, is petitioning for clemency after spending more than a decade in prison.

Dassey was just 17 years old when he was convicted of helping his uncle murder and sexually assault Teresa Halbach.

Now a few weeks shy of his 30th birthday, and having previously pursued several failed legal appeals, is seeking mercy once again.

On Wednesday, his legal team launched a campaign to persuade the state’s governor, Tony Evers, to grant him clemency.

In the petition, shared on the website for the “Wrongful Conviction” podcast, the attorneys argue that Dassey should be freed on grounds that his confession was disproved by physical evidence at the scene and his inability to accurately describe the method in which Halbach was killed.

The events surrounding Halbach’s death and the subsequent sentencing of Dassey and his uncle, Stephen Avery, were made famous by the Netflix series Making a Murderer.

Three years ago, attorneys for Dassey nearly secured a temporary release from prison just before Thanksgiving only to have it blocked at the last minute when his conviction reinstated by a divided appeals court.

The case has taken several turns since with the most damaging being when United States Supreme Court declined to hear his appeal, which limited his options going forward.

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