Adnan Syed From Serial Podcast Released, Conviction Overturned

A Baltimore judge has ordered the release of Adnan Syed after he overturned Syed’s conviction for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee – a case reported on the popular podcast Serial.

On Monday, on behalf of prosecutors, Judge Melissa Phinn ordered Syed’s conviction to be revoked when she approved the release of the now 41-year-old who has spent more than two decades behind bars.

Judge Phinn ruled that the state violated its legal obligation to share exculpatory evidence with Syed’s defense.

She ordered that Syed be placed under house arrest with GPS location monitoring and that the state must decide within 30 days whether to seek a new trial date or drop the case.

Syed – who has always maintained his innocence – garnered a lot of attention in 2014 when Serial’s debut season focused on the murder of Lee and raised doubts about some of the evidence prosecutors had used, inspiring countless table debates about the innocence or Guilty of Syed.

Last week, prosecutors filed a motion saying a lengthy defense investigation had revealed new evidence that could undermine the 2000 conviction of Syed, Lee’s ex-boyfriend.

“I understand how difficult this is, but we need to make sure we hold the right person accountable,” assistant attorney Becky Feldman told the judge as she described several details from the case that undermine the decades-old conviction, including a faulty cell phone records, unreliable witness statements and a potentially biased detective.

Syed was serving a life sentence after being convicted of strangling 18-year-old Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park.

The investigation “revealed undisclosed and newly developed information about two alternate suspects, as well as unreliable cell phone data,” the office of state attorney Marilyn Mosby said last week.

The suspects were known persons at the time of the original investigation but were not properly excluded and were not disclosed to the defense, prosecutors said, who declined to release information about the suspects due to the ongoing investigation.

Prosecutors said they did not claim Syed is innocent, but they had no confidence “in the integrity of the conviction” and advised him to be released on his own admission or bail.

The prosecutor’s office had said that if the motion were granted, it would effectively put Syed in a new trial status, lifting his convictions, while keeping the case active.

The true-crime series, Serial, was the brainchild of longtime radio producer and former Baltimore Sun reporter Sarah Koenig, who spent more than a year digging into Syed’s case, reporting her findings in near real-time in hour-long segments. .

The 12-episode podcast won a Peabody Award and was transformative in popularizing podcasts for a wide audience.

AP

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