Adnan Syed, 41, was found guilty of the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in February 2000 and sentenced to life in prison. Now, 22 years after the ruling, he has been freed. According to the New York Post, the defense team failed to produce all the evidence necessary for Adnan's case.
Adnan's DNA was found in no of the 12 samples taken from Hae's body or car that were tested, according to CNN. The hint was revealed by one of Adan's attorneys in the 2019 HBO documentary The Case Against Adnan Syed. So who is the guy who has been falsely imprisoned for 22 years? Read on to discover five facts about Adnan Syed's case.
Adnan Doesn't Have To Be Completely Free
Adnan has maintained his innocence since he was arrested at the age of 17 years old. Although he has now been released from jail, he is not a total free man. prosecutors have 30 days to dismiss his case or seek a fresh trial. For the time being, he must wear an ankle monitor with GPS tracking.
"Adnan Syed is not yet innocent," said Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby in a statement, per CNN. "But we are declaring that in the interest of fairness and justice he is entitled to a fresh trial."
Adnan was pleasantly surprised by his release.
"He said he couldn't believe it's true," Adnan's attorney told reporters after his conviction was thrown out, according to the New York Post. His mother was thrilled to have her son back, at least temporarily, and was spotted giving him a warm hug.
Adnan's Case Was At The Heart Of A Popular Podcast
Adnan's case first gained attention in 2014 when it was the subject of Sarah Koenig's true crime podcast, Serial, which featured 12 episodes. The Guardian reports that Sarah investigated Adnan's case and found flaws in his defense and evidence against him, and that the program even won a Peabody Award. In 2016, a lower court judge motioned for a retrial, but that was eventually denied by the Maryland Supreme Court.
Adnan is out of prison, and not everyone is content.
According to The Post, many who had doubts about Adnan's conviction are glad he has a chance at being a free man. The victim's brother, who was murdered to death in 1999, feels "betrayed."
Adnan deserves another fair chance at proving his innocence, according to Maryland's state attorney, who said she understands the brother's resentments. "I also understand the importance as the administrator of the criminal justice system to ensure equality and justice and fairness," she said in a press conference.
Adnan is from Baltimore.
According to The Sun, Adnan was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 21, 1981. He is a Muslim and his ancestral roots are in Pakistan.