Adnan Syed, subject of the popular true-crime podcast Serial, could be getting out of jail on bond soon. The Baltimore man who was convicted of murdering Hae Min Lee in 1999 will possibly be granted a new trial. However, if the courts do decide to vacate his original conviction, there’s still some debate as to where he should spend his time awaiting his new trial.
Adnan Syed Garnered Global Attention In 2014
In January 1999, Korean-American high school student Hae Min Lee disappeared from her school in Baltimore, Maryland. The following month, a passerby discovered Lee’s partially buried body in a local park. Less than three weeks later, authorities arrested Lee’s ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed in connection with her murder. The next year, a jury found Syed guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and robbery. The judge sentenced Syed to life in prison plus 30 years.
Flash forward over a decade later, journalist Sarah Koenig became invested in Syed’s case. After poring over the evidence, Koenig became convinced that the then-teenager was not granted a fair trial. In the fall of 2014, she released the first episode of Serial, a true crime podcast documenting Lee’s murder and Syed’s conviction.
The show generated international attention, with the first season receiving over 100 million downloads by 2016. It inspired other podcasts and documentaries, all of which cast doubt on Syed’s guilt. Syed’s lawyers have since filed requests for a new trial. In 2018, a special appeals court in Maryland granted the request, only for the conviction to be reinstated by the highest court in the state one year later.
Adnan Syed Could Get A New Trial
On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office moved to vacate Syed’s conviction. The new motion claims prosecutors at the time had another suspect in mind during their investigation, but they never shared that information with Syed’s legal team. Failure to share evidence that could result in the exoneration of a defendant is known as a Brady violation.
If the court finds that a Brady violation was committed, the conviction will be overturned. This time around, it looks like a new trial is likely. The motion was filed not by Syed’s legal team, but by the prosecuting office itself. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby does not concede that Syed is innocent, but that they no longer have faith in his conviction.
That leads us to another matter entirely: Will Syed be let out on bail while awaiting a new trial? Prosecutors have suggested as much. As reported by the Baltimore Sun, prosecutors say Syed’s continued incarceration is a “miscarriage of justice.”
Of course, there are those who still think Syed poses too much of a risk to society. Hae Min Lee’s family, for example, still believes Syed is guilty even after his Serial fame. If Syed is granted a new trial, he will have to stand for a bail hearing. At that time, a judge will likely hear from both sides before determining Syed’s bail eligibility.
Adnan Syed has always maintained his innocence. With this new motion, Syed is now closer to freedom than he has been in 23 years.