Serial Podcast's Adnan Syed Was Just Granted A New Trial After Spending 18 Years In Prison
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
If you clicked this article, then you are most likely to be one of the 175 million plus people that downloaded the Serial podcast made by This American Life. The 12 episode podcast was hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial went viral after being released online.
The podcast was an investigative journalism series dedicated to dissecting the murder case of Hae Min Lee. Back in 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted of murdering his then high-school girlfriend, Lee.
There were many people who believed that Syed was not given a fair trial and there was much more to the story than meets the eye. Koenig dove deeper and deeper with each episode, offering up other possible witnesses and even other suspects.
The episodes were so juicy and informative that once it came to an end, advocates all around the world called for justice, demanding that Syed be heard for a new trial. There was vital information regarding a very key witness, Asia McClain that says she saw Syed at their public library at the time of Lee's killing.
She sent this information to Syed in the form of two letters after he was arrested in 1999. Syed asked his problematic lawyer, Maria Cristina Gutierrez, to contact McClain, but this never happened.
His lawyer's failure to interview or contact McClain was a key part of Syed's argument that she had been negligent in defending his case.
Today, Adnan Syed’s appeal in his case was affirmed by the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland. https://t.co/kMALyCmTGq— Serial (@serial) March 29, 2018
Today, an appeals panel vacated the conviction of Adnan Syed and ruled that he should be granted a new trial on all charges.
In the ruling, they agreed that Syed had received ineffective legal counsel at his trial because Asia McClain was not called as a witness. Her testimony, if believed, would have made it impossible for Syed to have murdered his high school girlfriend.
Therefore, he must be vacated of all convictions for kidnapping, robbery and false imprisonment because they are all linked together based on him murdering Lee.
The immediate case will be remanded for a new trial on all charges against Syed.
At a news conference, Justin Brown, Syed's new lawyer stated, "Mr. Syed asked me to convey his deep gratitude and thanks from the bottom of his heart to all those who have supported him and believed in him."
If you're interested in listening to the podcasts, you can download them on your podcast app or listen to them on the serial website.
Now would be a great time to catch up on the podcast if you haven't listened to it before. Maybe the new trial will revive the Serial podcast.
Source: New York Times