The Maryland Court of Appeals has reinstated the murder conviction against Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular “Serial” podcast and an upcoming HBO docu-series.
Syed, whose conviction in the 1999 killing of his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee was vacated in 2016, won’t get a new trial after all. In a 4-3 decision on Friday, Maryland’s highest court held that “given the totality of the evidence” against him, there was not a “substantial possibility that the jury would have reached a different verdict” were he to receive a new trial.
One of Syed’s attorneys, Justin Brown, tweeted after the decision, “We will not give up.”
Syed’s case gained new scrutiny ― much of it in the form of armchair detective work ― after it was featured in the 2014 season of “Serial,” a mega-popular podcast by “This American Life” producer and former Baltimore Sun reporter Sarah Koenig.
Syed had appealed his conviction, arguing that his previous attorney Cristina Gutierrez failed to question key alibi witness Asia McClain, according to the Sun. His conviction was vacated by a judge on the Baltimore City Circuit Court. Last year, an intermediate appeals court upheld the decision to grant him a new trial.
But the state’s supreme court ultimately decided against it, with an order to reverse the judgment by the Baltimore City Circuit Court.
HBO’s four-part series, “The Case Against Adnan Syed,” is set to begin on Sunday.