Published: Fri, March 30, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Serial' Subject Adnan Syed Deserves A New Trial, Appeals Court Rules

Serial' Subject Adnan Syed Deserves A New Trial, Appeals Court Rules

Maryland's second-highest court has upheld a judge's ruling overturning the murder conviction of "Serial" podcast subject Adnan Syed. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Syed's attorneys successfully argued in 2016 that Syed should be granted a new trial.

His story was the subject of the first season of "Serial", which examined the events leading up to and after the murder of Lee. She said she'd seen Syed at the time Hae Min Lee's murder occurred, but that testimony was never brought forth in court."The podcast became the most-downloaded of all time, fascinating more than a million listeners and inspiring passionate communities of amateur sleuths and Adnan obsessives". The ruling can still be appealed to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, which means Syed's conviction could be upheld. Prosecutors appealed that decision to the appellate court.

A retired Baltimore judge issued a ruling in June 2016 granting Syed a new trial on the grounds that he received ineffective counsel in 2000 from a defense attorney who failed to cross-examine a state cell expert witness on key evidence.

The podcast star's lawyer said defense attorney Cristina Gutierrez - who passed away in 2004 - had fallen "below the standard of reasonable judgment" by not investigating McClain in the original trial.

Brown said if the case were to go to trial, "we like our chances - we like them a lot".

An alibi witness named Asia McClain Chapman wrote twice to Syed before his original trial, claiming she saw him at the Woodlawn Public Library between 2:15 pm and 2:35 pm on the day of the murder, the precise period during which he allegedly murdered Lee.

"In addition to being incredibly entertaining, it was a great piece of reporting by [producer] Sarah Koening", Brown said. "We think we're going to win a trial".

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