A Maryland appeals court on Tuesday reinstated the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, the subject of the “Serial” podcast, who was acquitted last year after 23 years of fighting for killing his former high school girlfriend.
A Maryland appeals court ruled in September that a trial court had violated the rights of Young Lee, the brother of victim Hae Min Lee, to have Mr. Syed was notified to attend the trial when a judge vacated his conviction.
At 2-to-1 ConclusionThe Court of Appeals reversed the trial court. Mr. Mr. Unlike the previous hearing, which would have given Lee enough notice to appear in person, he joined via Zoom.
This decision, Mr. That does not mean Syed must return to jail immediately, as the appeals court stayed its ruling for 60 days, giving both sides time to consider next steps, Mr. said David Sanford, one of Lee’s attorneys.
Mr. For agreeing with Lee, Mr. Sanford praised the appeals court.
“We are pleased that the Court of Appeals is directing the lower court to conduct a transparent hearing in which evidence is presented in open court, and the court’s decision is based on evidence that the world can see,” Mr. Sanford said in a statement.
Mr. Syed’s attorney, Erica J. Suter, Mr. He said he plans to appeal the decision to reinstate Syed’s sentence to the state’s highest court, the Maryland Supreme Court.
“There is no basis for re-traumatizing Adnan by returning him to the status of a convicted felon,” Ms Sutter said in a statement. “For now, Adnan remains a free man.”
“Adnan doesn’t need injustice to ensure Hae Min Lee gets justice,” he added.
State Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City, Mr. That prompted Syed’s conviction to be overturned, and spokesman James E. Bentley II said.
“We should let the appeals process play itself out,” said Mr. Bentley said in a statement. “Mr. Syed and his legal team can appeal to the Maryland Supreme Court, and we must respect their rights to do so until those rights are heard or that request is denied; we are in a holding pattern.
Mr. Lee argued that the trial court gave him only 30 minutes notice to run home, gather his thoughts without counsel’s input, talk openly about his sister’s murder, and lack any evidentiary information to quash the state’s request. Mr. Faith of Syed.
Mr. Lee asked the trial court to adjourn the hearing so he could appear in person, but Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Melissa M. Finn rejects her request. Mr. Lee later joined Zoom’s trial after one of his lawyers called him to work.
“This is not a podcast for me,” said Mr. Lee asked to raise his voice as he addressed the court. “This is real life — a never-ending dream for 20-plus years.”
Mr. After Lee spoke, Judge Finn, Mr. Syed’s conviction was vacated, prosecutors said. They failed to turn over evidence that could have helped Syed’s investigation and discovered new evidence that could have affected the outcome of his case.
Mr. Lee was convicted of strangling his high school friend and one-time girlfriend, Ms. Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park in 1999. Syed was serving a life sentence. -Degree murder, kidnapping, robbery and false imprisonment.
The Court of Appeal, Judge Finn, ordered Mr. It found that Lee’s request was denied, “even though it was not shown that it was necessary” to hold the hearing that day.
Maryland law gives victims the right to notice and attend a hearing before a motion to vacate, the court said.
“We remand for a new, lawful and open hearing on the motion to vacate, where sufficient notice of the hearing is given to allow Mr. Lee to appear in person, the evidence supporting the motion to vacate is presented, and the court states its reasons in support of its decision,” the court wrote.