On Monday, lawyers for Adnan Syed ― who was the subject of the hit podcast “Serial” ― filed a petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up his case.
Syed was convicted of killing his high school ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999. His case gained new scrutiny ― and new developments in court ― after it was featured in the popular 2014 podcast by “This American Life” producer Sarah Koenig.
In 2016, as a result of the podcast’s findings, a lower court judge vacated Syed’s murder conviction and determined he had the right to a new trial, citing the poor legal counsel he received in his trial in 2000. In March, however, the Maryland Court of Appeals reinstated Syed’s murder conviction.
Now Syed’s lawyers are asking the justices to reverse the Maryland Court of Appeals’ ruling and grant him a new trial. In a petition, they say Syed’s attorney in his first trial, Cristina Gutierrez, who has since died, was not effective, noting her failure to call an alibi witness to testify at trial.
“Syed should have the opportunity to present his alibi to a jury, and the jury —not the Maryland Court of Appeals — should decide its worth,” the petition reads.
Syed, who is serving a life sentence, has maintained that he was wrongfully convicted of murdering Lee.