Adnan Syed, known to many as a subject of the popular podcast Serial, has been granted a new trial nearly 20 years after he was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to a life in prison.
One reason the judge appealed is because Syed's attorney didn't call the key witness Asia McClain during the original trial in 2000.
Syed was accused and convicted in 2000 of burying Lee's body in in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park.
"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".
In 2016, he got a post-conviction hearing that could have led to a new trial, but prosecutors blocked it. Syed's attorney Justin Brown appealed, and he won (see the above tweet). This sends his case back to the lower Circuit Court, granting him a new trial on all charges. The 12-episode series featured Sarah Koenig, a former producer with the weekly public radio program "This American Life", telling the story of the killing, investigation and trial in a conversational narrative with interviews.More news: One Dead, Trooper Injured in Nikoleavsk Officer-Involved Shooting
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The ruling can still be heard in the Court of Appeals.
The podcast "was enormously helpful" in garnering support for Syed, his lawyer Brown said at a press conference Thursday.
Syed's story was widely publicized in the 2014 "Serial" podcast, which cast doubt on his guilt and inspired armchair investigators to unearth new information.
In Thursday's decision, two judges from the Court of Special Appeals agreed with the merits of the ineffective counsel claim, while the dissenting judge said there are times when lawyers have good reasons not to contact a potential alibi witness. They were denied Thursday in a 138-page ruling from Maryland's second-highest court. The program won a Peabody Award in April 2015, and has since been downloaded nearly 200 million times. If it's appealed, it would be many months before Syed would learn whether his conviction stands and whether he would be granted a new trial, according to the Baltimore Sun. He said he hopes the state will forgo an appeal and seek to retry the case.