Judge orders release of Adnan Syed, whose case was featured in the hit podcast 'Serial,' after overturning decades-old murder conviction

  • Adnan Syed was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend when he was 17 years old.

  • But a hit podcast called "Serial" publicized his conviction and shed light on issues surrounding the case.

  • A Baltimore judge overturned Syed's conviction on Monday.

A judge on Monday overturned the decades-old murder conviction of Adnan Syed, a man whose case was featured in the hit podcast "Serial," after Baltimore prosecutors sought to throw out the case.

Syed was seen walking out of a Baltimore court on the day of the ruling after spending 23 years fighting his conviction.


The 2014 podcast that covered the case also said that a new episode on Syed's release will come out Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors have 30 days to either seek a new trial or drop the charges against Syed.

The ruling came shortly after the office of Maryland's attorney for Baltimore filed a motion on Wednesday that said a yearlong investigation yielded new evidence regarding Syed's conviction, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Prosecutors were requesting a new trial because they lack confidence in the original conviction, the report said.

Syed was convicted in 2000 for the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, his ex-girlfriend at the time, and has been serving a life sentence. He was 17 years old when the crime occurred and has maintained his innocence since his conviction.

Two other suspects, whose identities are being withheld during the investigation, have also been linked to Lee's death, The Journal reported.

The 2014 podcast "Serial" detailed inconsistencies in the prosecutor's case and raised doubts about Syed's guilt. The podcast featured Asia McClain, a witness who insisted Syed was in a library when Lee was murdered. The podcast also included an argument that cell phone tower data was the primary driving force in Syed's conviction, CBS News reported.

The late Ronald Lee Moore, who died in jail in 2008 and was connected to several homicides, sexual assault cases, and burglaries, had been linked to Lee's death throughout the podcast.

A four-episode docuseries that aired on HBO in 2019, "The Case Against Adnan Syed," reignited concerns about Syed's conviction. The docuseries conducted its own unofficial DNA testing and found that Syed's DNA was not present on Lee's body or in her car, according to a report by The Times.

In March of this year, prosecutors agreed to move forward with official DNA testing of evidence linked to the case, The Times reported.

Syed, now 4o years old, has been on the brink of a new trial on multiple occasions.

But the US Supreme Court rejected a new trial in 2019 after Syed's attorney sought an appeal based on the discovery that an alibi witness hadn't been called in Syed's first trial. And when a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge granted him a new trial in 2016, the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed the decision in 2019.

"There is an abundance of issues that gives the State overwhelming cause for concern," prosecutors said Wednesday, according to The Journal.

"But after reviewing the evidence and the new information about alternative suspects, it is our duty to ensure that justice is done," Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby continued. "We believe that keeping him detained as we continue to investigate the case with everything that we know now, and when we do not have confidence in results of the first trial, would be unjust."

Read the original article on Insider