Adnan Syed, a Muslim man who has been behind bars in the United States for 23 years, had his first-degree murder conviction reversed in the killing of his then-girlfriend on Tuesday.
The 2-1 decision came after a Maryland appeals court panel found that a lower court violated the rights of the victim’s family to attend the hearing that vacated Syed’s conviction in September. The court ordered that the hearing be overruled.
Young Lee, Hae Min Lee’s brother, argued that the Baltimore City state’s attorney gave him less than one business day’s notice of that hearing.
Young also argued that prosecutors did not provide him with enough details to understand why that was happening, the Washington Post reported.
In 1999, Hae Min, who was 18, was executed and buried in a grave in Maryland. Syed, who was her ex-boyfriend at the time, was soon arrested. Authorities believed he killed her. When he was arrested, he was 17.
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Syed’s case was picked up by the podcast serial and went viral. The podcast is hosted by journalist Sarah Koenig, who looked at court documents to make sense of the case.
His first trial in 1999 ended in a mistrial. In 2000, a jury found him guilty of murder. The judge gave him life plus 30 years in prison when he was sentenced, the Baltimore Sun reported. He has been in prison ever since.
Adnan Syed’s ‘Serial’ murder conviction overturned
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In September 2022, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City filed a motion stating that a year-long investigation conducted by the defense turned up new evidence, including information regarding the potential involvement of two other suspects.
They asked that Syed be given a new trial.
But in late September 2022, Syed’s conviction was overturned after his lawyer and prosecutors filed motions questioning the integrity of the trial.