Adnan Syed – the focus of the popular podcast Serial – has been granted a new trial.
Fans of Serial (AKA the podcast that introduced most people to podcasts) will remember that Adnan was found guilty and in 2000 and sentenced to 30 years prison for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee when he was just 19 years old. He has always maintained he is innocent.
Now, 38, the former Woodlawn High School, Baltimore student is one step closer to clearing his name and walking free.
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This week a Maryland appeals court granted Adnan a new trial after finding that he had “ineffective assistance” in the original trial, CBS Baltimore reports.
The judges were upholding a decision first made by a judge in 2016 to vacate his conviction and have a new trial. But the prosecution appealed that decision, leading us to where we are now.
Listeners of the original 2014 podcast series who concluded that Adnan did not receive a fair trial and was innocent will be pleased to note the reason for the new trial is exactly the reason spelled out in the podcast: he had an alibi not properly explored in court.
The judges found that if testimony from Asia McClain – who says she saw Adnan in the library after school – had been presented in court during the original trial it could have shaken the prosecution’s timeline and led to that oh-so-crucial reasonable doubt.
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Of course, the prosecution could appeal the decision and once again postpone the trial. Syed’s lawyer C. Justin Brown told CBS he was hopeful this wouldn’t happen. He added he was even considering requesting Adnan be released on bail.