In The Know

Maryland’s top court denies new trial for subject of ‘Serial’ podcast

Judges use a small wooden mallet to signal for attention or order.

Maryland’s highest court ruled Friday that Adnan Syed, the subject of the widely popular “Serial” podcast, does not deserve a new trial for his 1999 murder conviction.

The Baltimore Sun reported Friday that Maryland’s Court of Appeals ruled in a 4-3 vote that Syed’s previous legal representation had been “deficient,” but found that Syed had waived his right to declare his counsel incompetent.

{mosads}The lawyer’s “failing to investigate” an alibi witness for Syed, the court ruled, did not harm Syed’s case enough to warrant a new trial.

“We are devastated by the Court of Appeals’ decision but we will not give up on Adnan Syed,” Syed’s attorney Justin Brown told the Sun.

“Our criminal justice system is desperately in need of reform. The obstacles to getting a new trial are simply too great,” he added.

Syed’s conviction, which was vacated in 2016 by a Baltimore judge, was buoyed by two appeals from state prosecutors who argued that Syed should not receive a new trial.

Syed’s story rose to international prominence after being made the subject of the hit podcast, “Serial,” which examined the events surrounding his case and raised questions about his conviction. He was convicted in 2000 of killing his girlfriend and fellow Woodlawn High School classmate, Hae Min Lee.


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