The Maryland Court of Appeals decided to conduct a new trial in the case of American Adnan Syed, who was sentenced in 2000 to a life sentence for the murder of his girlfriend. In 2014, the crime became the theme of the first season of the detective podcast Serial – with millions of plays it became the fastest growing podcast in the history of iTunes.
Prior to this, the lower court has already canceled the guilty verdict Sayed, but prosecutors appealed, arguing that in fact nothing has changed. But the Court of Appeal rejected the arguments of the prosecutors.
Syed was arrested at the age of 17 on suspicion of killing his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Both studied at the same school in Maryland. The prosecutor claimed that Lee, a popular high school student, began to meet with someone else, after which Syed found her, strangled and buried the body in the park.
The American denied his guilt, but he did not have an alibi. At the crime scene, no obvious evidence was found, but one witness said that he personally helped Syed dig a pit for Lee’s body. Also in court used the cell phone data of the alleged killer – his geolocation indicated that the student was at the burial site of the victim.
In 2014, the story was interested in the creators of the podcast Serial. During the year, they studied the case of Sayed, searched for witnesses and checked inconsistencies in the investigation. The first season of the weekly detective show became a worldwide phenomenon – it was downloaded more than 40 million times.
Sayyed’s lawyers noted that the podcast was “extremely useful” for the case. The journalists found Asia McClain, a former classmate of Sayed and Li, who told that she saw the guy in the library on the day of the murder. She wrote to the original lawyers of the defendant back in 2000, but they did not bring her to court as a witness. This became one of the factors for the review of the case.
At the first trial we could not find a person who would have confirmed the alibi. And the Serial podcast helped us get on McLane. The role of the show is just huge.
According to Brown, in the new jury trial his client has a better chance of acquittal.