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Adnan Syed To Work At Georgetown Prison and Justice Initiative

Adnan Syed, who was freed in September after he spent 23 years in prison fighting a murder conviction that was chronicled in the hit 2014 podcast “Serial,” has been hired by Georgetown University by an organization whose work mirrors the efforts that led to his release, reports the New York Times. Syed, who became something of a pop-culture sensation after the podcast raised questions about whether he had a fair trial on charges of strangling his high school classmate and onetime girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999, will work for Georgetown’s Prisons and Justice Initiative. Syed, who was 17 at the time of Lee’s death in Baltimore, has steadfastly maintained his innocence. The university said that Syed, now 41, will help support programs at the organization, such as a class in which students reinvestigate wrongful convictions and seek to “bring innocent people home” by creating short documentaries about their findings. The program, founded in 2016, “brings together leading scholars, practitioners, students and those affected by the criminal justice system to tackle the problem of mass incarceration.

Georgetown said that in the year leading up to his release, Syed was enrolled in the university’s bachelor of liberal arts program at his Maryland prison. “To go from prison to being a Georgetown student and then to actually be on campus on a pathway to work for Georgetown at the Prisons and Justice Initiative, it’s a full circle moment,” Syed said. He said the institute had "changed my life. It changed my family’s life. Hopefully I can have the same kind of impact on others.” He added that he hoped to continue his education at Georgetown and go to law school. The new job culminated what has been a remarkable year for Syed. In September, Syed was released from prison after a judge overturned his murder conviction. Prosecutors said that an investigation had uncovered various problems related to his case, including the potential involvement of two suspects and key evidence that prosecutors might have failed to provide to Syed’s lawyers. In October, prosecutors in Baltimore dropped the charges after DNA testing on items that had never been fully examined proved Syed’s innocence.

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