Adnan Syed Granted Appeal Marking Huge Break in 'Serial' Case

serialIt was uncertain if Adnan Syed, convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee when he was 17 back in 1999, would have a chance to appeal. It looked bleak. He has become infamous since the podcast Serial took off and we all have our own thoughts on if Adnan is guilty or not. But that day has finally come and Syed won a motion to appeal, which will bring new evidence to the case.

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The appeal was granted which means Syed has an strong alibi -- he was with Asia McClain at the time of Lee's death. McClain supports this. Now Syed's lawyers must file the claim by March 16 for a briefing on April 16 with court in June. It's still a waiting game. And it may be his last chance for freedom.

Many of us think Syed is innocent -- wrongly convicted -- and it's mostly because of Sarah Koenig and her team at Serial. Many of us would have never known of Lee's murder if it wasn't examined on the show. This is where we heard testimony that wasn't presented to the courts back when Syed was first convicted of murder. New evidence. This appeal is a massive break in the case, and also opens our eyes to the issues within our justice system.

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This time around Syed has new representation, attorney C. Justin Brown. Though Brown has been working with Syed for over five years, and the petition to appeal was filed in January of 2014. Brown told the Baltimore Sun, "It's the first step in a pretty long process, but we’re happy." It's widely believed his original lawyer Cristina Gutierrez didn't serve him well.

Syed's lawyer did file the appeal before Serial began, but what's interesting is that his alibi, Asia McClain, hasn't been strong until after McClain listened to Serial. McClain had already told investigator Kevin Urick that she was with Syed in 1999. But it was reported that Urick made her feel her testimony wasn't needed and that they knew Syed was guilty. Her affidavit also states that she maintained the fact that Syed was with her at the time of the murder and that the prosecutor's claims that she recanted that story are incorrect. McClain is talking now, and she said:

After I learned about the podcast, I learned more about Koenig’s reporting, and more about the Syed case. I was shocked by the testimony of Kevin Urick and the podcast itself; however I came to understand my importance to the case. I realized I needed to step forward and make my story known to the court system.

Syed was 17 when convicted of life in jail, plus 30 years. That's forever. No chance at parole. He was a kid. He is 33 now. And he's finally won a chance to clear his name.

Do you think Syed is innocent? Are you glad the case is being reexamined? Who do you think murdered Lee?

 

Image via Serial

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