What's Brendan Dassey Been Doing In 2016? The 'Making A Murderer' Subject Is The Center Of National Attention
It's only been a little over a month since Making a Murderer debuted on Netflix, but so much has already happened in the wake of the series' release, especially for its subject Brendan Dassey. As seen in the series, in 2007, Dassey, along with his uncle Steven Avery, was convicted of Teresa Halbach's murder and sentenced to life in prison. Still, they both maintain their innocence to this day. Now, a decade after the Halbach murder and a month after the release of Making A Murderer, what has Brendan Dassey been doing in 2016? The year may have only just started, but, so far, it's been filled with updates stemming from the series, particularly for Dassey.
Dassey is still in prison, and there's only so much one can do from jail. But, that doesn't mean all has been quiet on the Dassey front. While Dassey himself hasn't been able to communicate with the outside world directly, many of his family members and supporters are speaking up on his behalf. From viewers who started petitions for his release to his half-brother writing a rap about him, here are a few updates on Dassey's life in 2016, thus far:
He's Awaiting His Case Review
Shortly after the series debuted, The Appleton Post-Crescent reported that Dassey filed an appeal with the hope of overturning his conviction. As of Dec. 27, 2015, it was awaiting review by a federal judge. There's no set timetable for when the review will be complete.
He's The Subject Of Petitions
Since the release of Making A Murderer, viewers have flocked to sites like Change.org and We The People to sign petitions to attempt to get Dassey released or "grant him a new trial at the very least." The White House and President Obama responded to petitions calling for a presidential pardon by reminding everyone that it's a state case and Obama has no power in the situation. The person with the power to pardon to Dassey is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker who has stated he upholds the conviction.
"Just because a documentary on TV says something doesn’t mean that’s actually what the evidence shows,” Walker told Fox News. “The bottom line is that there was a crime that was committed a decade ago. There is a system in the judicial system by which individuals can petition the courts to get relief like others have done in the past that shows that someone might actually be innocent. But, I am not going to override a system that is already put in place.”
He's Moved Prisons
Dassey's 2016 has begun with a bit of a shift in his routine, as he was moved from Green Bay Correctional Institution in Green Bay, Wisconsin to Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wisconsin, according to a report from TMZ. "Sources close to Dassey tell us the move was for several reasons," TMZ claimed. "One of which related to the convict becoming so high profile as a result of Making A Murderer." TMZ reached out to a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections who said that inmate transfers are common, but declined to comment further.
He's The Subject Of A Rap Song
While Dassey hasn't been able to say much to the world at large, his half-brother Brad Dassey recently released a rap about Brendan and Avery titled "They Didn't Do It." So far, the tune has accumulated almost 300,000 listens on Soundcloud. In an interview with Vice's music section, Noisey, Brad claimed Brendan was "a quiet and shy kid." He continued saying, "We would joke around and stuff. [Brendan] was always very meaningful. I honestly don’t think that this kid could’ve done what he said he did," Brad said, referencing Brendan's March 2006 confession to rape and murder. Brendan later recanted his confession during his April 2007 trial, as seen in the docuseries.
"I’m not really trying to get famous. It’s all in God’s hands," Brad told Noisey about the song. "But, whatever is going to happen is going to happen. But, people are sharing it, and that’s the power of the whole thing. People must believe in what I said in the song. They must believe in the beat." Bustle reached out to Brad who declined to comment on the series, his brother's case, or his rap song.
His Lawyer Is Updating Viewers
Although Brendan has not made a statement about his case or the Netflix series, his lawyer Laura Nirider did tell Forbes how her client was doing in the wake of the show's release. "Behind the four walls of a prison without, obviously, a Netflix subscription, it’s hard to understand how big Making a Murderer has gotten," she told Forbes. "He’s understanding it. He is hopeful. He is grateful. He wants his fair shot. That’s all."
A month after the release of the Netflix series, public interest in Brendan's case is showing no signs of slowing down. So, even from behind bars, he's likely to have an interesting rest of his 2016.
Images: Netflix (3)