Adnan Syed, Subject Of ‘Serial’ Podcast, Seeking New Trial After 15 Years
Adnan Syed has been serving the a life sentence for the murder of his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, since 2000 and returned to court Tuesday in search of a new trial.
His case was the center of the critically acclaimed podcast Serial which premiered in October 2014. Reporter Sarah Koenig managed to raise considerable doubt about Syed’s guilt, becoming one of the most-downloaded podcasts of all time, reaching five million downloads on iTunes faster than any program to date and developing a cult following of Adnan obsessives which even sparked another Syed-centered podcast. Three weeks after the end of Season One, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals filed a decision allowing Syed to appeal his conviction on the grounds that his attorney did properly represent him. The court left to the decision to a three-judge panel as to whether or not the defense could use the new evidence from Asia McClain partially brought to light by the podcast which gives Syed an alibi.
McClain said she saw Syed at the alleged time of the murder at the library but she was not called as a witness and an assistant state’s attorney discouraged her from attending any hearings.
Even though Syed has maintained his innocence throughout, prosecutor Kevin Uruk stated in an interview with The Intercept last year that “the case was pretty much a run of the mill domestic violence murder” as Syed was believed to have strangled Lee after finding out that she was dating someone new.
Yesterday’s hearing focused on the viability of McClain’s alibi and a reexamination of the cell phone evidence used in the original case.
This is the second time that Syed is attempting to get a re-trial, the last time being in 2012. Even if he is successful, it doesn’t mean Syed will be proven innocent. Even Koenig, after researching Syed for a year, wasn’t completely convinced of his innocence. She simply believes that “something went wrong with the case.”
Are you convinced? Listen to the whole season here.