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29th Mar 2018

There’s been a massive update in the case of Serial’s Adnan Syed

Keeley Ryan

His lawyer confirmed the news this evening.

Adnan Syed has been granted a new trial.

He was convicted in 2000 of killing his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

The case gained international attention when, in 2014, it was featured on the podcast Serial. 

In 2016, a lower court vacated his conviction on the grounds that his attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, had  not cross-examined a witness who was crucial to the case, according to CBC News.

The Attorney General of Maryland appealed that decision, however, which resulted in the question of whether or not to throw out the conviction going before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

In a 2-1 ruling on Thursday, the three-judge appeals court panel agreed with Syed’s currently lawyer, Justin Brown, that his trial lawyer had provided him with ineffective council during the original trial.

Brown announced the news on social media shortly after the court reached a decision.

It was argued that Gutierrez made an error in not calling Asia McClain, a classmate of Hae’s and Adnan’s, to the witness stand during the original trial.

As detailed in the podcast, McClain said that she was having a conversation with Syed in the library around the same time that Hae was murdered.

CBC News reports that the panel said in their ruling that if a testimony from Asia McClain had been presented to the jurors, it would have “directly contradicted the State’s theory of when Syed had the opportunity and did murder Have”.

The panel added that this could have created reasonable doubt in the mind of at least one juror, which could have led to a different outcome.