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A Potential Second Chance: Adnan Syed Story


By : Hashim Arain

STAFF WRITER

A couple weeks ago a Maryland court has agreed to an appeal in the case of Adnan Syed. The case has been the subject of the popular podcast Serial, where it followed the murder of teen Hae Min Lee in 1999. This case has gotten a lot of attention after Serial followed the case on an episode by episode basis. Syed has been serving a life sentence for the murder, and according to the Washington Post Syed’s team wrote a petition to appeal his conviction because he had a bad attorney at the time, the court denied the petition at the time, and now this decision can look into the petition again.

It seems like the podcast Serial really brought Syed’s case from almost fifteen years ago back to life, and now the podcast and its listeners have a chance to potentially get Syed out of prison. Slate Magazine reports that Syed’s lawyer during the original trial was unable to get a plea deal, and didn’t put much effort into getting an important witness named Asia McClain. Slate also reports that McClain was a former classmate of Syed, and claims to have seen him at the local library at the same time when Hae Min Lee was murdered.

Slate also stated that McClain said that then prosecutor Kevin Urick convinced her at the time of Syed’s trial not to testify during it. This case certainly has a lot going on in it, and the outcome of the appeal is no doubt going to get a lot of attention from those who listened to Serial. I think Syed’s legal team has some legitimacy in this appeal, and it will be interesting to see if this Maryland court will overturn Syed’s conviction, after him being in prison for fifteen years.

This may seem like a long shot to some, but Syed’s lawyer has a chance to make a compelling case. If it weren’t for Serial I doubt this case would get another look, but the podcast drew millions into this case and could have an impact to how the second trial will go. The Daily Beast reports that McClain listened to Serial go through Adnan’s case, which made her want to step forward and tell her story.

This shows how Serial’s reporting had a real impact on this case, McClain heard the case again fifteen years later, and now she could be instrumental in getting Syed out of jail. Even though it’s been reported that Syed’s first appeal was made before Serial came out, Serial helped bring this case to the world’s eye with its popularity. According to Newsweek, Syed’s trial is set for June, barring any denial by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

This case is very compelling, and it’s quite something when a podcast bringing this case back to life can potentially change the outcome of the case. Should be an interesting ending for the story of Hae Min Lee’s murder, where all the speculation and theories could finally be put to an end.