Adnan Syed of 'Serial' Podcast to Get New Trial

Glen Norman
March 30, 2018

"Trial counsel's deficient performance prejudiced Syed's defense, because, but for trial counsel's failure to investigate, there is a reasonable probability that McClain's alibi testimony would have raised a reasonable doubt in the mind of at least one juror about Syed's involvement Hae's murder", the opinion reads.

A Maryland appeals court on Thursday granted a new trial on all charges for Adnan Syed, whose case was the subject of the popular podcast "Serial". Lee's body was found in 1999 in a Baltimore park, following her disappearance weeks earlier. The Court of Special Appeals upheld the ruling by the trial court. The state then appealed the ruling.

A lower court judge vacated Syed's conviction in 2016, citing his attorney's failure to cross-examine a key witness.

Thursday's decision affirmed a June 2016 lower court ruling from Judge Martin P. Welch, who also granted Syed a new trial and vacated his conviction.

Syed maintained his innocence, and in 2014 his case attracted worldwide attention when it was featured on the "Serial" podcast, which was downloaded millions of times and prompted legions of listeners to scrutinize the case online.

Syed's lawyer, C. Justin Brown, said he is ready for a new trial. The show attracted millions of listeners and shattered podcast records.

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Kathryn Grill Graeff disagreed with the majority, saying Syed had failed to overcome the presumption that his trial lawyer's failure to contact McClain was based on reasonable trial strategy. Host Sarah Koenig and her team uncovered inconsistencies in his case - including the fact that Asia McLean was an alibi witness.

"We are now reviewing today's decision to determine next steps", Raquel Coombs, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Frosh, said in an email.

"We hope that they will come to the conclusion that this has gone on long enough", he said.

Brown said he is considering whether to seek Syed's release on bail.

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