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New DNA Tests Planned on Evidence in Syed 'Serial' Podcast Case

Baltimore chief prosecutor Marilyn Mosby said evidence in the case featured on the first season of the "Serial" podcast will be reexamined using modern forensic testing techniques, the Wall Street Journal reports. Adnan Syed, who was convicted in 2000 of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, asked Baltimore's Sentencing Review Unit to look into his case under the 2021 Maryland Juvenile Restoration Act. It allows people who were convicted as juveniles to request a modification of their sentence after they have served 20 years. Syed was 17 at the time of the crime, but was charged as an adult.


Lee went missing in 1999 and her body was not found for about a month. Eventually, a passerby happened upon her body in a park and an autopsy showed that she had been strangled to death. The new examination will include forensic testing on several items from the scene, including some of Lee's clothing that was never tested for DNA evidence. Law Prof. Erica Suter of the University of Baltimore and Becky Feldman of the Sentencing Review Unit wrote, “Since this crime occurred, DNA testing has changed and improved drastically. . . . If Petitioner’s DNA is not present on this evidence, this fact would be exculpatory and could provide a basis for a factfinder to determine that Petitioner is innocent.” The case received widespread attention when reporter Sarah Koenig covered it in her podcast "Serial" in 2014. In 2018, a special appeals court ruled Syed was entitled to a new trial, but that decision was reversed by Maryland's highest court.

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