Prosecutors Ask For Adnan Syed’s Murder Conviction To Be Vacated Amid New Evidence

They did not assert Syed's innocence, but said "the state no longer has confidence in the integrity of the conviction."

Prosecutors in Baltimore asked a court to vacate the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, the subject of the hit podcast “Serial” who has been jailed since 2000 for killing his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office filed a motion Wednesday after a yearlong investigation conducted in partnership with Syed’s attorneys. Prosecutors said they had uncovered new evidence that potentially links two suspects with Lee’s murder. Both individuals, who have not been named, were known during the first investigation, but the filing says evidence about them was withheld from Syed’s defense attorneys.

Other incidents with the suspects occurred after Syed’s trial that added new context to the crime, prosecutors said.

“The State’s Brady violations robbed the Defendant of information that would have bolstered his investigation and argument that someone else was responsible for the victim’s death,” the motion reads, citing legal doctrine.

Adnan Syed enters a courthouse prior to a hearing on Feb. 3, 2016, in Baltimore.
Adnan Syed enters a courthouse prior to a hearing on Feb. 3, 2016, in Baltimore.
via Associated Press

The state’s attorney’s office asked Syed be given a new trial that includes the recent evidence, although they stressed they aren’t asserting his innocence.

“However, for all the reasons set forth below, the State no longer has confidence in the integrity of the conviction,” the office of Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney, wrote.

Prosecutors recommended Syed, 42, be released on his own recognizance while the ongoing investigation is pending.

Syed’s case captured national attention in 2014 during the first season of “Serial.” He was convicted of strangling Lee when he was 17 years old, and charged as an adult.

He has been in prison serving a life sentence since his conviction in 2000.

Syed has long maintained his innocence.

The case has been subject to years of back-and-forth rulings and international scrutiny. In 2018, a special appeals court ruled Syed deserved a new trial, but the highest court in Maryland overturned that decision a year later.

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