Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a bid to hear an appeal from imprisoned “Serial” podcast subject Adnan Syed.
The 39-year-old Woodlawn man was convicted in 2000 of murdering his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to life in prison. His case drew legions of fans with the hit podcast “Serial" and an HBO series.
With a flood of public support, Syed’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court in August to consider his case. Frosh’s office has argued in state court to uphold the conviction, and he filed a 37-page brief Friday asking the justices to reject the bid.
Syed appealed on grounds that this trial lawyer failed him by not calling an alibi witness, Asia McClain. She claimed to have seen Syed in the Woodlawn public library during the time of Hae Min Lee’s murder.
Syed had been convicted after a witness, Jay Wilds, said he helped Syed bury her body. Wilds’ testimony has been widely questioned over the years. Most recently, the documentary filmmakers say Wilds spoke to them and offered yet another account of the crime — one different from what he told police.
In March, Maryland’s highest court decided Syed does not deserve a new trial after finding his trial lawyer erred but it wasn’t enough to tank his defense. Now, Frosh is also arguing Syed would have been convicted even with McClain’s testimony.
“Wilds’s testimony that Syed showed him Lee’s body in the trunk and that the two buried her in Leakin Park, do tie Syed to Lee’s murder and are enough to defeat Syed’s claim that McClain’s testimony created substantial likelihood of a different result at trial,” Frosh wrote.
More than 7,000 cases are petitioned to the Supreme Court each year, but justices take up only about 2 percent.