Adnan Syed is released from prison after a murder conviction is overturned


Adnan Syed was released Monday after a Baltimore judge vacated Syed’s conviction for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a case detailed on the hit true crime podcast series “Serial.”

Syed, now 42, is now being held in home detention and GPS location monitoring. Within 30 days, the prosecution must decide whether they want to request a new trial or dismiss the case.

Melissa Phinn, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge, stated that the move was “in the interest of judgement and fairness”The Associated Press reported her announcement. The judge ruled that the state violated a legal obligation to share evidence that may have helped Syed’s defense.

This follows a Baltimore City prosecutor’s motion to vacate Syed’s murder conviction and request a new trial. They questioned the integrity of the original trial that led to Syed being put behind bars. 

Their lengthy investigation into the trial, conducted with support of Syed’s defense, “revealed undisclosed and newly-developed information regarding two alternative suspects as well as unreliable cell phone tower data,”According to a news release from the prosecution. While prosecutors said they were not claiming Syed was innocent, they lacked confidence in “the integrity of the conviction,”The release was stated.

Syed was 17 years old at the time of his arrest. He is currently serving a life sentence and 30 years for strangling Lee, his ex girlfriend, when he was 18.

Lee’s body was found buried in Leakin Park. The authorities at the time stated that Lee was beaten up by Syed and that he killed her.

Syed is innocent and his case has received a lot of attention in 2014. “Serial” raised new questions about Lee’s death, and highlighted questionable evidence in the case. The 12-episode podcast about Syed’s case won a Peabody Award.

He and his lawyers fought the conviction many times during his incarceration, most notably in 2016, when he was granted a new trial, but Maryland’s highest court later reinstated his conviction. Syed’s team then brought their fight to the U.S. Supreme Court, where his plea for a new trial was denied in 2019.

Hae Min Lee’s brother, who participated in the hearing via Zoom from California, called the ruling “a nightmare.” “This is not a podcast for me,”He said that according to NBC Baltimore. “It’s real life that will never end.”

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