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MD Appeals Court Restores Murder Conviction Of Adnan Syed

A Maryland appeals court on Tuesday reinstated the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, who was found guilty of the 1999 killing of his former girlfriend in a case that drew attention after the podcast "Serial" raised doubts about his guilt, Reuters reports. After an investigation identified problems with the case, a trial judge last year vacated Syed's conviction in the murder of Hae Min Lee and ordered his release after more than 20 years in prison. The prosecutors dropped the case. A Maryland appellate court panel, voting 2 to 1, ordered a new hearing, saying the lower court had violated the right of the victim's family to attend a critical hearing in the case. "This Court has the power and obligation to remedy those violations, as long we can do so without violating Mr. Syed’s right to be free from double jeopardy," the panel said

The panel did not specifically order Syed back to prison, but allowed a two-month delay in the "mandate" of its decision to allow the parties "time to assess how to proceed." Syed has maintained he was innocent and did not kill Hae Min Lee, who was 18 when she was strangled and buried in a Baltimore park. The podcast "Serial," produced by Chicago public radio station WBEZ, got national attention in 2014. An attorney for Syed said he remains free and the latest decision was not about Syed's innocence. The attorney said Syed's team will seek a review in the Supreme Court of Maryland. Prosecutors had filed a motion to vacate the conviction after conducting a yearlong investigation alongside a public defender representing Syed. Judge Melissa Phinn ordered Syed to be released from prison, where he was serving a life sentence.


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