Saturday, October 1, 2022

Released: Adnan Syed murder conviction vacated, judge rules


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BALTIMORE — Adnan Syed had his murder conviction vacated and will be released from prison, a judge ruled.

The officers removed the shackles to a cheer in the courtroom Monday afternoon.

Syed, 41, was previously sentenced to life after he was convicted for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. 

He served more than 20 years in prison before his murder conviction was vacated.

After a 30-minute recess, Lee’s brother testified he was “blindsided” by a joint motion to vacate Syed’s sentence.

“This is not a podcast for me. This is real life – a never-ending nightmare for 20-plus years,” Lee’s brother said, referring to the “Serial” podcast that brought national attention to the case.

Lee’s brother spoke during the hearing via Zoom. He had hoped to attend in person.

“I’ve been with this for 20-plus years. Whenever I think it’s over, it always comes back,” he said.

An attorney for Lee’s family had said it was “outrageous” that relatives were not given opportunity to participate in hearing.

The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office said Lee’s brother was notified last week and indicated he would appear on Zoom.

Judge Melissa M. Phinn called for a recess so he could phone in to the hearing.

“Serial,” released in 2014, raised questions about the prosecution.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is asking for a new trial for Syed after newly discovered evidence revealed two other suspects could have been involved. 

“In the interest of fairness and justice, he is entitled to a new trial,” Mosby said 

Lee disappeared on Jan. 13, 1999. Several weeks later, her body was found in Leakin Park. An autopsy report stated she had died from manual strangulation.  

Since the conviction, Syed has maintained that he is innocent.

According to a partner with Rosenberg Martin Greenberg, a retrial could be a “challenge,” due to witnesses potentially being unavailable nearly 20 years after the incident happened. He also said the decision today is not a guarantee that Syed will be free —even if both parties come to the same request.  

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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