A Maryland appeals court on Thursday promoted a ruling giving a new trial to a male whose conviction in the murder of his high school sweetie ended up being the topic of the popular podcast.
Adnan Syed was convicted in 2000 of killing Hae Minutes Lee and burying her body in a shallow tomb in a Baltimore park. He was 17 at the time.
Syed’s story was extensively advertised in the 2014 Serial podcast, which cast doubt on his guilt. The program brought in millions of listeners and shattered podcast records.
A lower court judge vacated Syed’s conviction in 2016, citing his lawyer’s failure to cross-examine an essential witness. District attorneys interested the Maryland Court of Unique Appeals, the state’s intermediate appeals court.
Syed’s legal representative, C. Justin Brown, said he is pleased by the ruling.
WE WON THE APPEAL. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/FreeAdnan?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#FreeAdnan</a>
“If the state is so confident in their case, and if they’re so positive that Syed is guilty, they should just try the case. We’re prepared to try the case,” Brown said.
District attorneys decreased to say whether they will appeal the ruling to the state’s greatest court.
” We are currently reviewing today’s decision to identify next steps,” Raquel Coombs, a representative for the Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, said in an e-mail.
In a 2-1 judgment, the three-judge appeals court panel concurred with Syed’s current legal representative that his trial legal representative was inefficient for failing to investigate a potential alibi witness who stated she saw Syed at a public library at the time the state claimed Syed killed Hae.
The panel stated in its composed decision that if testament from Asia McClain had actually been presented to the jury, it would have “directly contradicted the State’s theory of when Syed had the opportunity and did murder Hae” and could have created reasonable doubt in at least one juror’s mind and caused a various outcome.
” In considering the totality of the proof at Syed’s trial with the potential effect of McClain’s alibi testimony, this Court holds that there is an affordable likelihood that, however for trial counsel’s lacking performance, the outcome of Syed’s trial would have been different,” Chief Judge Patrick Woodward composed for the majority.
During a hearing in June, Thiru Vignarajah, an unique assistant attorney general arguing on behalf of the state, stated it was sensible not to seek out McClain due to the fact that Syed’s attorney was focused on an alibi positioning him at Woodlawn High School, not the library.
Adnan Syed was founded guilty in 2000 of eliminating Hae Min Lee and burying her body in a shallow grave in a Baltimore park. He was 17 at the time. (Thanks To This American Life/NPR).
” It’s the example that the defence lawyer would need to make a judgment about,” he stated.
In a dissenting viewpoint, Judge Kathryn Grill Graeff disagreed with the bulk, stating Syed had failed to get rid of the presumption that his trial attorney’s failure to get in touch with McClain was based upon reasonable trial method. Graeff said she would have reversed the lower court’s judgment granting Syed a brand-new trial.
Syed has actually lagged bars given that his arrest in February 1999.
Brown stated that after Syed learned the court had actually maintained the ruling granting him a new trial, he wished to “communicate his deep gratitude and thanks from the bottom of his heart for all those individuals who have supported him this long and all those individuals who have thought in him.”.
Brown stated Serial had a huge impact on the case, generating attention that helped Syed’s defense group locate McClain and bring her to Baltimore for a post-conviction hearing.
” And Serial has also helped to build this groundswell of assistance for us and for Adnan and for the case, which has actually really sustained these efforts and allowed us to keep combating on the way that we have,” Brown stated.
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