The Case Against Adnan Syed and the “Serial” Podcast

Trigger warning: descriptions of murder scene

Following over two decades of incarceration, at the end of September of 2022, Adnan Syed walked free, when a Baltimore judge re-opened his case and vacated his conviction. In the year 2000, Syed was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in Baltimore, Maryland. The case quickly garnered the attention of the general public when the true crime podcast, “Serial,” narrated the case and its details through a series of investigations led by Sarah Koenig, American journalist and television and radio producer. 

Through twelve nerve-wracking episodes, Koenig leads the audience through a journey of betrayal, mistrust, and hauntingly contradictory alibis. On January 13, 1999, Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, Maryland, mysteriously disappeared. Less than a month later, her body was discovered in a forest in Leakin Park, with evidence of death by manual strangulation. Following more thorough investigations and interviews with other suspects and friends of Lee and Syed, the location of each person at specific instances or times began to contradict one another, the alibis unraveling and falling apart. Though Syed always maintained his innocence, he was sentenced to life, convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. 

The state’s attorney for Baltimore, Marilyn Mosby, dropped the charges against Syed last month. Syed’s lawyer, Erica Suter, says, “The DNA results confirmed what we have already known and what underlies all of the current proceedings: That Adnan is innocent and lost 23 years of his life serving time for a crime he did not commit.” Prosecutors have discovered two other potential suspects; though information about them has not been publicly released, it is known that one suspect had a motive to commit the murder, saying “he would make her disappear. He would kill her.” 

On the other hand, Hae Min Lee’s family has asked the Maryland Court of Special Appeals to halt any court proceedings. Steve Kelly, a lawyer for Lee’s family, says that the Lees only learned of the changes to Syed’s charges through media outlets and were uninformed of the decision made. “All this family ever wanted was answers and a voice. Today’s actions robbed them of both,” says Kelly. 

More information in regards to the case against Adnan Syed is linked here:

Photo Gavel by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

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