MARYLAND – There is a development in the case of convicted murderer Adnan Syed, whose story was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial” in 2014.
Maryland’s highest court reinstated Syed’s conviction for killing his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee on Friday, reported NBC News. The state’s Court of Appeals found 38-year-old Syed was disadvantaged by a “deficient performance” by his former defense lawyer, who is deceased, but the evidence still pointed to his guilt.
Circuit Court Judge Martin Welch had overturned Syed’s conviction in 2016, reported NBC News.
Syed received a life sentence for Lee’s 1999 slaying and burying her body in Baltimore’s Leakin Park. They were high school classmates.
“We are devastated by the Court of Appeals’ decision but we will not give up on Adnan Syed,” his defense lawyer Justin Brown said in a statement. “Unfortunately we live in a binary criminal justice system in which you either win or you lose. Today we lost by a 4-3 vote.”
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The defense’s case was detailed in Sarah Koenig’s 2014 “Serial” podcast and will be revisited in an HBO docuseries called “The Case Against Adnan Syed” that premieres Sunday, according to NBC News.
The Maryland Court of Appeals on Friday found Syed’s team’s argument, that his initial trial was deficient because of “failing to investigate” the story of a purported alibi witness, was not enough to invalidate the conviction, reported The Baltimore Sun.