A judge in Baltimore ordered the release of Adnan Syed on Monday, after overturning his conviction for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee – a case that was the subject of the popular podcast “Serial.”
At the request of prosecutors, Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn ordered Syed’s conviction overturned and approved the release of the 41-year-old man who has spent more than two decades behind bars.
Phinn ruled that the state violated its legal obligation to share exculpatory evidence with Syed’s defense. He ordered that he be placed in detention at his home with GPS monitoring. He also ordered the state to decide whether to ask for another trial or dismiss the case in 30 days.
His attorney, Erica Suter, told reporters the 41-year-old was in disbelief and anxious to get on with his life after spending the last 23 years behind bars for a crime he says he did not commit.
When asked what his first words were when the judge issued the ruling, he replied: “He said he can’t believe it’s real.”
“He really wants to be with his family,” she added.
Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn decided to release Syed, who is currently 41 years old, after considering that the state violated its legal obligation to share evidence that could have strengthened the defense of the convicted person. Syed was placed under house arrest with GPS location monitoring and as he left the court building he was greeted by a crowd of supporters.
Phinn also ruled that the state must decide whether to seek a new trial date or dismiss the case within 30 days. A week ago, prosecutors filed a motion arguing that new evidence was uncovered that could undermine Syed’s 2000 conviction. State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office announced that the investigation revealed new information about “two alternate suspects, as well as data from unreliable cell phone towers.” (Adnan Syed ex-wife)
Previously, in 2016, a lower court ordered a new trial for Syed on the grounds that her lawyer, Cristina Gutiérrez, who died in 2004, failed to contact a witness and provided an ineffective defense. However, in 2019 the court refused to review her case.
INNOCENT OR GUILTY?
Syed, who has always maintained his innocence, received a lot of attention in 2014 when the first season of “Serial” focused on Lee’s murder and raised questions about the evidence used by prosecutors, inspiring several debates about the murder. Syed’s innocence or guilt.
Last week, prosecutors filed a motion saying an extensive defense investigation had uncovered new evidence that could undermine the 2000 conviction of Syed, Lee’s ex-boyfriend. (Adnan Syed mother health 2022)
Syed was serving a life sentence after being convicted of strangling 18-year-old Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park.
The investigation “revealed previously undisclosed and newly developed information about two alternate suspects, as well as unreliable data from cell towers,” State Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office said in a statement last week. The suspects were people known during the original investigation but were not properly ruled out or disclosed to the defense, according to prosecutors, who declined to provide information on the subjects due to the ongoing investigation.
Who is Adnan Syed?
Born on May 21, 1981, Adnan Syed made headlines for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Adnan Syed was a student at Woodlawn High School in 1999 when his 18-year-old girlfriend Hae Min Lee disappeared.
Six weeks later, 17-year-old Syed was arrested for the murder of the popular high school student. He faced his first trial that same year, which ended in a mistrial.
He went on trial again in 2000. A jury found him guilty of strangling Ms. Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park.
At the time, the prosecution argued that Syed, a talented and popular student, then 18, had strangled Lee in a fit of rage because he was upset that she had left him. (Adnan Syed Wikipedia)
Despite denying the charges in February 2000, Syed, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, was convicted of first-degree murder.
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