Prosecutors move to vacate murder conviction of Serial’s Adnan Syed | US news

Prosecutors have filed a motion to vacate the murder conviction of 42-year old Adnan Syed, a case that previously gained international attention after it was featured on the podcast Serial.

In a motion filed by Baltimore City state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby, a nearly year-long investigation with Syed’s defense team revealed new information that points to alternative suspects, according to a statement from her office.

The alternative suspects were known to police at the time of the investigation, but were not properly ruled out, said prosecutors. The investigation, conducted with Syed’s defense team, also uncovered that unreliable cell phone tower data was used in the case.

Syed’s case caught the public attention after Serial featured the story of the death of Hae Min Lee, Syed’s then girlfriend. In 2000, a then 17-year old Syed was convicted of strangling Lee and sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years.

Syed has maintained his innocence over the years, with his defense team making multiple attempts to get his case reviewed again. In 2016, Syed’s conviction was vacated and a new trial reordered, but that decision was ultimately overturned by the Maryland court of appeals in 2019.

Now, Syed has a chance for a retrial again.

A statement from Mosby’s office read: “To be clear, the state is not asserting, at this time, that Mr Syed is innocent. While the investigation remains ongoing, when considering the totality of the circumstances, the state lacks confidence in the integrity of the conviction and requests that Mr Syed be afforded a new trial.”

Critical to securing Syed’s potential retrial was the passing of the Juvenile Restoration Act of 2021, “which allows persons convicted of crimes as juveniles to request a modification of sentence after they have served at least 20 years in prison.”

Syed was charged as an adult, despite being a teenager at the time of Lee’s death. He is currently serving his 20th year in prison since he was arrested.

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