A Maryland appeals court has agreed to grant Adnan Syed—the center of the crime docu-podcast Serial—a new trial. Syed was convicted in 2000 of murdering his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee and disposing of her body in a shallow grave in a park in Baltimore.
Now, the Maryland Court of Appeals has confirmed what many listeners believed: Syed was not adequately assisted in his defense. The court, therefore, ordered that his convictions be vacated.
Back in 2016, a lower court judge made the same call on the grounds that Syed’s original lawyer hadn’t cross-examined a key witness who could have confirmed his alibi that he was at the public library at the time of the murder. However, prosecutors manage to appeal that decision. Now, after a 2-1 ruling, it looks like Syed is finally getting the trial he deserves. The decision was made by a three-judge appeals court panel, who wrote that if the jury had heard the testimony of this key witness, Asia McClain, it would have “directly contradicted the State's theory of when Syed had the opportunity and did murder Hae.”
As for Serial, the podcast certainly earned Syed a number of sympathizers. Syed’s new attorney C. Justin Brown isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to his faith in his client. “If the state is so confident in their case, and if they're so confident that Syed is guilty, they should just try the case. We're ready to try the case,” he said.
Many users on social media are equally pleased to see Syed get his new day in court.