HBO is already putting together a follow-up to The Case Against Adnan Syed

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The Case Against Adnan Syed
The Case Against Adnan Syed

Though it already got beaten to the punch by Sarah Koenig and Serial, the other major true-crime project about Adnan Syed and the murder of Hae Min Lee is obviously not going to let the events of this week go unaddressed: HBO and director Amy Berg have announced that they’re in production on a follow-up episode to documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed, and they have have exclusive access to Syed himself from both the lead up to and after his release from prison.

Syed was released this week after more than 20 years behind bars, having been convicted of murdering classmate Hae Min Lee when he was a teenager, after prosecutors determined that they no longer had “confidence in the integrity of the conviction.” Syed’s release does not necessarily mean that the state thinks he’s innocent, just that prosecutors found evidence—both new and old—that could’ve impacted the outcome of his trial had it been presented at the time. They now have 30 days (or slightly fewer, since this all happened a few days ago now) to decide whether or not to retry Syed.

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Both The Case Against Adnan Syed and Serial detailed the many ways that the American justice system had broken down in this one instance, leading to either the conviction of an innocent man or at least such a bizarre bungling of the process that one could make a pretty compelling case for his innocence. It took a few decades, but the state has now come around to that argument.

Interestingly, while Serial put out an episode the morning after Syed’s release, Berg and HBO are taking a more patient approach to this. Not only are they going to be waiting past the 30-day window for a retrial before releasing this new episode of The Case Against Adnan Syed, but a press release says it won’t even be released until 2023. That means it will most likely be covering things we don’t even know about yet.

As all of this has been happening over the last few days, the family of Hae Min Lee has seemingly been opposed to this development—or at least opposed to how quickly it happened. During the last hearing before Syed’s release, an attorney for the Lee family said that they weren’t given “adequate notice” that Syed’s conviction was going to be vacated, and Lee’s brother appeared in court via a Zoom call to say that “this is not a podcast” for them and that it’s killing him and his mother to keep seeing this case brought back. “Whenever I think it’s over, and it’s ended, it always comes back,” he said.