Judge Orders Release of Serial’s Adnan Syed, Vacates Murder Conviction


Adnan Syed has been released from prison.

A Baltimore judge vacated 41-year-old’s conviction for the 1999 murder of his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee—which crime was famously chronicled in the hit true crime podcast Serial

On Sept. 19, City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phinn ruled that prosecutors made a compelling argument that Syed’s conviction was flawed, according to NBC News. The judge declared that the state violated its legal obligation to share evidence that could have supported Syed’s defense.

Tossing out the murder, kidnapping, robbery and false imprisonment convictions, Judge Phinn order that Syed—who spent over two decades behind bars—be released on his own recognizance and placed in home detention.

The judge also gave prosecutors 30 days to proceed with a new trial or drop the case entirely.

After the ruling, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh issued a statement saying that the accusation of evidence being withheld from the defense was ”incorrect.” 

“Among the other serious problems with the motion to vacate, the allegations related to Brady violations are incorrect,” the statement read. “Neither State’s Attorney [Marilyn] Mosby nor anyone from her office bothered to consult with either the Assistant State’s Attorney who prosecuted the case or with anyone in my office regarding these alleged violations. The file in this case was made available on several occasions to the defense.”

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