Supreme Court Rejects Syed Appeal in ‘Serial’ Case

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The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider an appeal by convicted killer Adnan Syed, the main subject of the “Serial” podcast, leaving in place a state appeals court decision keeping him in prison for life, NPR reports. Syed is serving a life sentence after a jury convicted him in 2000 of strangling to death his former girlfriend, 17-year-old Hae Min Lee, whose body was found in Baltimore. The case attracted an international following when it was featured in the 12-part podcast in 2014. In 2016, a Maryland court ordered a new trial, citing an alibi witness that was never explored by Syed’s defense attorney. In March, the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, determined in a 4-to-3 decision that Syed does not deserve a new trial.  The appeals court believed that Syed’s trial counsel was deficient but did not find any prejudice.

Syed’s lawyer, Justin Brown, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the Supreme Court’s decision. “Two courts have said he deserves a new trial, and then Maryland’s highest court reversed that. We think it’s appalling,” Brown said. “We think this is a grave injustice. The way this has played out is sickening.” Brown said Syed’s legal fight isn’t over because his client was a juvenile sentenced to life in prison without a “meaningful opportunity for parole.” “That can be litigated in state court,” Brown said. “We won’t give up.”

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