Adnan Syed, the primary subject of the first season of the podcast Serial and the man convicted for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, has filed a petition to be released from prison on bail, the Baltimore Sun reports. The Brown and Nieto law firm filed the motion, requesting that Syed be freed from prison on bail while he awaits a new trial for the murder.
In the motion filed Monday, Syed's lawyers write, "Syed has now served more than 17 years in prison based on an unconstitutional conviction for a crime he did not commit. He has no history of violence other than the State's allegations in this case, and if released he would pose no danger to the community. He is also not a flight risk; it makes no sense that he would run from the case he has spent more than half his life trying to disprove."
Syed's case became famous nationwide when Serial did a deep dive into Hae Min Lee's murder and Syed's subsequent trial for that murder in 2014. He was convicted in 2000, and has steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout the investigation, trial, and his incarceration.
Following the podcast's release and the interest in Syed's case, Syed and his attorneys have made moves to appeal his conviction in another attempt to clear his name and get him out of prison. The Baltimore Sun reports that Syed's lawyers have unsuccessfully argued for appeals for years, but were only just able to convince a city judge to hear an appeal case.
It's very rare for people convicted of violent crimes to be released with bail, according to the Baltimore Sun, but in the motion, Syed's attorneys argue that their client should be freed while he awaits his new trial.