Following the announcement, Laura H. Nirider, the lawyer for Brendan Dassey, the nephew of Stephen Avery who was convicted of the 2005 murder of Teresa Halbach along with Avery, tells PEOPLE Dassey, now 26, is “hopeful.” Dassey is still behind bars and is challenging his imprisonment as unlawful, and is hoping to receive a new trial, Nirider says.
“He is hopeful,” Nirider explains. “What gives him hope is the letters of support he receives from people all around the world. Those letters and his family are the reasons he gets up nowadays. He is hopeful and grateful.”
Nirider says she was happy about the news of the show’s second season. “The whole world saw what happened to him over the course of season one. People are rightfully up in arms about what happened to him, and we are grateful a spotlight will continue to be shown on his case,” she says.
She adds that Dassey was surprised by the success of the show. “I think everybody’s been taken aback by how popular the series was, and we are incredibly grateful for the focus it has put on this case.”
The new episodes focus on “the high-stakes post-conviction process, as well as the emotional toll the process takes on all involved,” Netflix’s press release stated.
“The new installments will take fans of the acclaimed documentary series back inside the story of convicted murderer Steven Avery, and his co-defendant, Brendan Dassey, as their respective investigative and legal teams challenge their convictions and the State fights to have the convictions and life sentences upheld,” it continued.
The popular docuseries prompted fans to call for the reopening of the case in an effort to exonerate Avery and Dassey.
“We are extremely grateful for the tremendous response to, and support of, the series,” directors Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos added in the release. “The viewers’ interest and attention has ensured that the story is not over, and we are fully committed to continuing to document events as they unfold.”
No timeline was given as to when the new episodes would be made available on Netflix.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Since the show was released, Avery has spoken out to his supporters asking for “every forensic test possible” to prove his alleged innocence. (He reportedly has not been allowed to watch the Netflix show).
In February, Ricciardi and Demos said they had been in conversations with Kathleen Zellner – Steven Avery’s new lawyer – about continuing to film the process, and had continued to record phone call conversations with Avery. At the time, they had not yet returned to film in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, where neighbors had been divided about the show and the case’s verdict.
“There is a lot of hostility toward these two women [the filmmakers] in Wisconsin,” Stephen M. Glynn, Avery’s civil lawyer, said. “The theory is that [they] have played Wisconsin unfairly. But among those people who think and are a little more educated and thoughtful about these sorts of issues, there is appreciation.”