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Adnan Syed's murder conviction reinstated, for now

A Baltimore court reinstated the conviction of Adnan Syed as a procedural matter, but said it wishes not to violate his "right to be free."
Adnan Syed leaves courthouse after conviction vacated
Posted at 2:13 PM, Mar 28, 2023

The murder conviction for Adnan Syed, a case that gained national attention with the "Serial" podcast, has been reinstated by a court in Maryland. 

On Tuesday a court opinion was released, stating, "Because the circuit court violated Mr. Lee’s right to notice of, and his right to attend, the hearing on the State’s motion to vacate ... this Court has the power and obligation to remedy those violations, as long we can do so without violating Mr. Syed’s right to be free from double jeopardy." 

The reference to Mr. Lee in the court filing refers to Young Lee, the brother of Hae Min Lee, who was Adnan Syed's ex-girlfriend who was murdered over 20 years ago. Adnan Syed spent 23 years in prison and denies he committed the murder for which he was charged. 

Lee, the brother, made a claim that his rights were violated by the "hasty" decision by the courts that led to Syed's release, WMAR reported

The court said it will "remand for a new, legally compliant, and transparent hearing on the motion to vacate, where Mr. Lee is given notice of the hearing that is sufficient to allow him to attend in person, evidence supporting the motion to vacate is presented, and the court states its reasons in support of its decision."

In September a Baltimore Circuit Court judge threw out a life sentence for Syed in the 1999 murder of Lee after a request was filed by Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Young Lee lives in California and said the judge overseeing the case then did not allow him adequate time to appear in person in Maryland for the previous hearing, saying attorneys gave him one business day of notice. 

Both sides now have 60 days to agree on how to move forward with the next motion.

As the "Serial" podcast reported, Syed has used every legal avenue available to him in the case, which included a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court.


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