If you never listed to the Serial podcast (Season 1), then I’d recommend dropping everything you’re doing right now and go binge listen. Regardless of whether you thought Adnan was innocent or guilty, the podcast itself was fantastic.
Today, the main subject of Serial, convicted murderer Adnan Syed, had his conviction vacated and was granted a new trial by a Baltimore judge. Syed had been serving out a life sentence since being convicted in 2000 of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.
Judge Martin Welch wrote that Syed received “ineffective counsel” for failing to cross-examine a State’s expert witness on the reliability of cell phone location data, and that the request for a new trial was granted.
From The Baltimore Sun:
The ruling comes four months after a post-conviction hearing at which Syed’s attorneys argued that a crucial alibi witness and questionable cellphone records were wrongly overlooked by his original trial lawyer.
The Maryland attorney general’s office maintained that Syed was a calculated killer whose conviction was the only possible outcome. Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah said he knew the state’s position was “not popular.”
“The court finds that trial counsel’s performance fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment when she failed to cross-examine the state’s cell tower expert regarding a disclaimer obtained as part of pre-trial discovery,” Welch wrote.
No word yet on when or even if there will be a new trial.