Adnan Syed case update: Lawyer appeals to Maryland Supreme Court after Adnan Syed’s Hae Min Lee murder conviction is reinstated

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland — Adnan Syed’s attorney on Wednesday asked Maryland’s highest court to overturn a lower court’s decision that reinstated his murder conviction more than two decades ago – after he was released last year in a court case that has garnered international attention thanks to the hit “Serial” podcast.

Syed’s attorney is also asking the court to keep his client from being incarcerated pending the Maryland Supreme Court review.

“It is grateful that the victim’s representative and the Attorney General have consented to the stay,” said a statement from the Maryland Public Defender’s Office when announcing the court filings. “Reincarceration of Adnan would be devastating to him and his family and an affront to justice.”

Syed’s attorney has filed a motion asking the state’s highest court to consider several legal issues raised by the victim’s family, who argued she was not given enough notice to testify at the trial. ‘an audience.

SEE ALSO | Adnan Syed’s murder conviction reinstated by Maryland appeals court

Legal issues include whether former Baltimore state attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision to dismiss charges against Syed last year rendered the family’s legal challenge moot. The questions also relate to whether the presence on Zoom satisfied the victim’s representative’s right to attend the hearing and whether the notice of hearing was sufficient.

Syed’s attorney also asks the court to consider whether the Maryland Court of Appeals’ reversal is appropriate without showing that the outcome of the hearing that decided his release would have been different.

“Adnan’s innocence is not in issue, but his rights as a defendant and his freedom as an exonerated are directly affected by the decision of the Maryland Court of Appeals,” Erica Suter said. , Syed’s attorney, in a statement.

Suter said the issues raised in the case “have broader implications for our entire legal system, including the power of the state to dismiss a case, the role of victims’ representatives in reparations proceedings for unjust convictions and the restrictions placed on judges’ discretion to use remote communication services like Zoom.”

“We hope the Supreme Court will consider these vital first impression issues,” Suter said.

David Sanford, an attorney for the victim’s family, said he was confident the state’s highest court would recognize victims’ rights.

“The Maryland Court of Appeals has recognized that victims in the state of Maryland have rights,” Sanford said. “We are confident that the Supreme Court of Maryland will also recognize these rights and rule that victims may not only receive notice and attend a vacatur hearing, but also participate meaningfully in that hearing.”

LEARN MORE | Hae Min Lee’s family’s appeal against decision to overturn Adnan Syed’s conviction can go ahead: court

Syed was 17 when his ex-girlfriend and high school classmate Hae Min Lee was found strangled to death and buried in a makeshift grave in 1999. He was arrested weeks later and eventually convicted of murder. He received life in prison plus 30 years.

Last year, Syed regained his freedom when Baltimore prosecutors decided to overturn his conviction, saying they had reviewed the case and found other suspects and unreliable evidence used in the trial.

But the victim’s family said they were given insufficient notice to attend the September vacatur hearing in person, which violated their right to be “treated with dignity and respect”, and the Intermediate Appeals Court of the state accepted. In a 2-1 decision that was suspended for 60 days, the judges restored Syed’s conviction and ordered a resumption of the hearing in question.

The court ruled that giving the victim’s brother, Young Lee, just one business day before the hearing was “insufficient time to reasonably allow Mr. Lee, who lived in California, to attend the hearing in person. “, and forced him to attend the hearing. from a distance.

Syed has remained free since the court ruling. In Wednesday’s court filing, Syed’s attorney said he had been employed since December, as a program associate at Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative.

The filing also noted that Syed cared for his elderly parents. Her father suffers from dementia and her mother suffers from leukemia.

“Mr Syed’s return has meant a better quality of life for his loved ones as he is able to help with the day-to-day management of his parents’ health, transport them to doctor’s appointments and be with them. generally helpful,” the court filing said.

RELATED | Adnan Syed case: ‘Serial’ podcast subject’s conviction should be overturned, prosecutors say

The video in the player above is from a previous report.


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