Advertisement

Appeals court to hear arguments in 'Serial' case June 8

Appeals court to hear arguments Thursday on whether ‘Serial’ subject Adnan Syed should receive new trial.

Attorneys for the state and Adnan Syed, whose case was popularized in the "Serial" podcast, will return to court Thursday to argue whether Syed should receive a new trial.

The hearing, scheduled for 2 p.m. in Annapolis, is for the state's appeal of an order granting Syed a new trial. Court of Special Appeals Chief Judge Peter B. Krauser announced in January that the court would hear arguments in the case.

Advertisement

The court will not make a decision on Thursday. It will issue a written opinion at a later date. That ruling could then be appealed to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.

"We look forward to presenting these arguments to the appellate court for the first time," Syed's attorney, C. Justin Brown, said Tuesday.

The Maryland attorney general's office, which argued against a new trial and filed the appeal in August, declined to comment because it does not publicly discuss pending litigation, said spokeswoman Christine Tobar.

Syed was convicted of murdering Hae Min Lee, a Woodlawn High School classmate and a former girlfriend, in 2000 and sentenced to life in prison.

The case was the focus of "Serial," the most downloaded podcast of all time, which raised questions about his conviction and evidence in the case.

A judge overturned Syed's conviction last June and ordered a new trial on the grounds that his past legal team should have raised questions about the reliability of cellphone tower evidence that was used to place Syed near Leakin Park, where Lee's body was found.

In his opinion granting a new trial, Judge Martin P. Welch wrote that Syed's attorney in 2000 had "rendered ineffective assistance when she failed to cross-examine the state's expert regarding the reliability of cell tower location evidence."

After the state attorney general's office appealed the decision, Syed's attorneys filed a conditional appeal, arguing that they should also be able to raise other issues if the state's appeal was taken up.

Syed remains in prison and will not be present at the forthcoming hearing. No witness testimony will be presented.

Advertisement
Advertisement