It’s with complete shock that I report a Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled to reinstate the original convictions and sentence for Adnan Syed.
Adnan was released from prison in September 2022 after serving more than 20 years for the 1999 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.
Adnan’s case gained national attention after it was featured on the hit true-crime podcast, “Serial.”
In January, Hae Min’s brother, Young Lee, filed a motion around the October 2022 hearing in which the charges were dropped against Adnan Syed.
Lee and his family argued that prosecutors infringed upon Maryland victims’ rights as well as the short notice he received ahead of the hearing.
In court, Young said that he was “denied his rights as the representative of a crime victim.”
Steve Kelly, the attorney for the Lee family, said the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office gave his client less than one business day’s notice for the hearing, and that he was denied the right to fully participate in the proceeding because he wasn’t provided with adequate notice, facts, or evidence.
The Court of Special Appeals’ decision on Tuesday will grant a new hearing where Young Lee will have the opportunity to adequately prepare and advocate on behalf of his sister.
So, what does all of this mean for Adnan Syed?
The Maryland Special Court of Appeals cannot immediately send Adnan back to prison.
All sides have 60 days to assess how to proceed with this case.
In the ruling, the appeals court said:
Therefore, we vacate the circuit court’s order vacating Mr. Syed’s convictions and sentence, which results in the reinstatement of the original convictions and sentence.
We remand for a new, legally compliant, transparent hearing on the motion to vacate, where Mr. Lee is given notice of the hearing that is sufficient to allow him to attend in person, evidence supporting the motion to vacate is presented, and the court states its reasons in support of its decision.
Rabia Chaudry, Adnan Syed’s friend, and advocate, said in response:
We stand by the integrity of the evidence that exonerated Adnan, and urge the Baltimore Police and States Attorney’s office to find the source of the DNA on the victims shoes and find Hae Min Lee’s actual killer.
Adnan Syed was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Hae Min Lee.
He has always maintained his innocence and even turned down a plea deal in his case.
Source: CBS News