In June, a Baltimore City Circuit Court overturned the conviction of Adnan Syed based, in part, on ineffective council at trial. Syed was found guilty in 2000 of murdering his high school ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, the year prior. On Monday, Syed’s attorneys filed a motion to have him released on bail while he awaits a retrial, according to the New York Times.
Syed has been in prison for 17 years. He’s serving a life sentence for Lee’s murder. But Syed’s attorneys claim that the 35-year-old was wrongly convicted based, at least in part, on erroneous testimony by an expert, whom his attorney failed to cross examine, according to the Times.
Many people developed doubts around Syed’s conviction and questions about the murder investigation after his case was detailed and popularized in 2014 on the podcast Serial. Most recently, his case was retold in the book, Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by attorney and writer Rabia Chaudry. (The Innocence Blog featured an interview with Chaudry upon the release of the book in August.)
One of Syed’s attorneys, C. Justin Brown, said to the New York Times: “There’s a tendency to sensationalize this story and view it as a piece of entertainment . . . . But I’m always brought down to earth by the fact that Adnan has now spent 17 years in prison, and every day in prison is miserable.”
Syed and his attorneys now await to hear whether the motion for release will be granted. According to the Times, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office in Maryland said that the motion had not yet been received.