Brendan Dassey, one of the subjects of the hit reality series Making A Murderer, was denied clemency by Wisconsin governor Tony Evers, according to a report from the New York Times. Dassey, who is now 30 years old, was sentenced to life in prison for allegedly helping his uncle Steven Avery murder Teresa Halbach.
Dassey is not eligible for an early release until 2048, and the governor will not consider Dassey eligible for a pardon because he has not yet completed his sentence and has not registered as a sex offender.
“Had the Board reviewed Brendan’s petition on the merits, it would have seen what more than 250 national experts and millions of ordinary people around the globe see: a terrible miscarriage of justice,” Dassey’s lawyers, Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin, said in a statement.
“Wisconsin has a history of issuing commutations — a bipartisan tradition. We will continue to work with experts to educate this governor and his staff about how to design an appropriate commutation process to right serious injustices.”
Earlier this year, Dassey had sent a hand-written letter to the governor.
Dassey’s team was hoping for a pardon or to have his sentence shortened to time served.
“Brendan Dassey, by and through his undersigned counsel Laura Nirider and Steven Drizin of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Seth Waxman of WilmerHale, and Robert Dvorak of Halling & Cayo, hereby respectfully requests that the Governor of Wisconsin exercise his clemency powers by granting him a pardon or commutation of sentence to time served,” the filing reads. “This is Brendan’s first petition for executive clemency.
“Should the Governor decline to issue a full pardon on all three convictions, Brendan asks at least for his freedom via a commutation of his remaining sentence(s) to time served with no remaining supervision time. This Board has not, to undersigned counsel’s knowledge, adopted any rules limiting eligibility for commutations. Undersigned counsel also notes that any form of relief that does not include a pardon of the second-degree sexual assault charge will likely require Brendan to register as a sex offender.”
Unfortunately, the clemency bid fell through and Dassey will remain behind bars for the foreseeable future, but his legal team is not going to give up.