Adnan Syed’s Conviction Upheld: Serial Podcast Case Takes New Turn

The case of Adnan Syed, featured in the hit podcast “Serial”, has yet another heart-wrenching development.

Portrait of Adnan Syed by Midjourney

The Maryland appeals court has declined to reconsider its decision to reinstate the conviction and sentence of Adnan Syed, who spent over 20 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and high school classmate, Hae Min Lee. The court denied the motion, stating that it was based on an argument not previously raised.

Syed has always maintained his innocence in the murder of Lee, whose body was discovered in Leakin Park in Baltimore in 1999. After multiple legal developments, Syed’s conviction was thrown out and he was released in 2022. Then State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby claimed an investigation revealed withheld evidence of potential alternative suspects. However, the Appellate Court of Maryland later reinstated Syed’s conviction and sentence.

Locally, rumors swirled that Mosby – embroiled in controversy alongside husband and City Council Presiden Nick Mosby – led the investigation to garner attention and celebrity in the eleventh hour of her scandal-filled departure from office.

Syed’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Erica Suter, expressed disappointment in the court’s decision and plans to seek review in the Supreme Court of Maryland. Syed is currently employed by the Prisons and Justice Initiative at Georgetown University.

You can read the full decision here, which discusses nolle prosequi, which is when the State dismisses charges against a defendant. The court found that exceptional circumstances existed to temper the State’s authority to enter a nolle prosequi in this case, and therefore, the appeal was not rendered moot. The document emphasizes that statutory language must be viewed within its context and reconciled with other parts of the law to achieve consistency and harmony.

Where will the Adnan Syed saga go next?