On August 12, 2016, Brendan Dassey had his conviction for the intentional homicide of photographer Teresa Halbach overturned. Pending an appeal Dassey will be released from federal prison. While his uncle, Steven Avery remains in prison at the Waupun Correctional Institution in Wisconsin. He and his nephew were tried and convicted in separate trials. Therefore, as the New York Times puts it in their report on Dassey’s case, “Mr. Avery was not affected by the court order on Friday.”
One of Avery’s lawyers, Kathleen Zellner, told WISN in the hours after the Dassey decision:
We fully expected this outcome from an unbiased court that carefully examined his confession. I was just visiting Steven Avery, and he is so happy for Brendan.
We know when an unbiased court reviews all of the new evidence we have, Steven will have his conviction overturned as well.
While on her Twitter, Zellner wrote, “Justice for Brendan as another LE fabricated confession bites the dust. Convicting the innocent foiled by unbiased court.” She later added, “Brendan’s opinion shows cops made up crime story. Steven’s will show cops made up crime evidence.”
Another Jerome Buting, wrote, “Brendan Dassey writ granted to reverse his conviction. Justice finally strikes!” He also wrote, “State of Wisconsin should accept federal court decision and drop case against Brendan Dassey. Avery is next. Time to go after real killer.”
In January 2016, Zellner began working with the Midwest Innocence Project, filed the latest appeal on Avery’s behalf. That appeal cited violations of due process in Avery’s case.
Online petitions have circulated online since the airing of the Avery documentary, Making a Murderer, on Netflix in December 2015. One such petition which drew a response from the White House pointed out that Avery and Brendan Dassey were state prisoners and therefore the president can’t pardon them. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has made it clear that he will not pardon Avery.