‘Making a Murderer’: How Old Will Brendan Dassey Be When He’s Released From Prison?

Watching Making a Murderer on Netflix has been a haunting experience for many, despite true crime tales being a natural part of mainstream entertainment. MaM has continuously fascinated people, but at its peak now thanks to the strange tale of Steven Avery possibly getting out of prison again after being exonerated years earlier for a separate murder.

Avery is the center of the show, plus his now superstar attorney Kathleen Zellner. However, many might have forgotten about the other tragic figure in this case: Brendan Dassey.

Dassey is Avery’s nephew who went through the same labyrinthine legal maneuvers, but ultimately stayed in prison. Now we wonder what kind of life he will have if released 29 years from now.

Dassey’s confession gone wrong

Being convicted for murder in your teens is already the worst kind of tragedy. When accused of being an accessory to the murder of Teresa Halbach with Avery in 2005, Dassey was only 16 years old.

The entire case shocked the community of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. Part of Dassey’s conviction came from his notorious interrogation session, which Making a Murderer covered in depth.

Had it not been for the show, he might have been virtually forgotten and likely died in person. Based on the evidence available, it seemed he was coerced to confess due to his impressionable age. Recent analysis even suggests the interviewers might have steered the conversation to make Dassey confess to something he didn’t do.

As we all know, things turned upside-down to a point where there’s still doubt about how guilty Dassey really is.

Overturning a conviction, then overturning it again

There really isn’t any other legal case like the one with Dassey/Avery. All the legal twists and turns are almost maddening, especially with Dassey having his conviction overturned in 2016, then reversed a year later.

Making a Murderer managed to convince the public and a federal magistrate judge this was an unfortunate mistake in the justice system. As a result, we all thought Dassey was going free in the summer in 2017.

By the end of the year, the Seventh Circuit court had an almost split vote on reinstating Dassey’s conviction. All the hopes of his being freed were brought down within a few months, shocking everyone.

So what happens next? After a failed process of going to the Supreme Court, it’s possible Dassey really will spend more years in prison.

Parole won’t occur until 2048

The thought of someone being released from prison after spending three-quarters of their life in incarceration is almost impossible to contemplate. Should there never be an attempt to free Dassey, he won’t have a chance for release again until 2048. He’d be 59 years old then, which is a horrible time to try to rebuild one’s life.

All the more strange is Avery could be released from prison before his nephew, making for a completely imbalanced legal situation.

One can only hope it won’t turn into an unfair situation since Avery is younger now than Dassey would be when potentially released in 2048. Anyone with knowledge of the details in Making a Murderer would wish for Dassey to get another chance to prove his innocence.

Apparently the concern is he’s possibly as manipulative as Avery appears, making murder mysteries like this so complicated when there’s still so much doubt.

Will Dassey become a celebrity if released earlier?

Another problem is if Dassey happens to get his appeal soon, he’d still be under 30 and likely be a media celebrity. At 29 now, the media circus could become just as detrimental as staying in prison.

Then again, maybe he’d be like other “famous” prisoners of late who just want to get back to normal and shun the spotlight. Even O.J. Simpson has managed to do that somehow. This proves the only way to find peace after prison is to stay away from any chance of making money off what placed you behind bars in the first place.