Adnan Syed’s long walk
The subject of the Serial podcast has attracted international attention while he continues to try and clear his name
Convicted on 25 February 2000 for murdering ex- girlfriend
Hae Min Lee, Syed originally received a life sentence with an additional 30 years. Faced with a long sentence and convicted of first- degree murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment and robbery, Syed’s prospects looked extremely bleak. Maryland was a death penalty state until 2013 ( although executions there were a rarity) and Syed could have been facing a death sentence instead of life.
Syed’s conviction wasn’t the end of the story, though. He has always protested his innocence of the murder and maintained that his trial was fundamentally flawed. According to his legal team, original defence attorney Cristina Gutierrez offered an ineffective defence. They also claimed some prosecution evidence was so unreliable it should never have been used. He’s pictured here at his post- conviction relief hearing held in February 2016. In June 2016 Judge Martin Welch vacated Syed’s conviction, although Syed has been denied bail.
In March 2018 Maryland’s second- highest court upheld the ruling granting Syed a new trial. The state of Maryland has appealed and Syed’s lawyers have opposed their appeal. His case is currently awaiting another hearing.