Serial pushed Adnan Syed’s case into the national conscience, but the courtroom drama portion of the tale will play out off the air. Starting Wednesday morning, Syed will be back in court in Baltimore as he seeks a new trial.
Syed is not going back on trial for the murder of Hae-Min Lee. Before that can happen, he has to convince a judge that he deserves a new trial. Maryland Post Conviction sums it up this way: “The post conviction phase of your case is not really about your guilt or innocence. It is about the process and whether the process worked the way that it is supposed to.”
But even getting this hearing is unusual.
The proceedings are scheduled to last Wednesday-Friday. While Sarah Koenig won’t be around to translate the legalese, the topics covered in the hearings will be familiar to Serial listeners. Syed’s attorney Justin Brown will present alibi testimony from Asia McClain and argue that Syed’s lawyer Cristina Gutierrez did not provide proper representation because McClain was not called to testify. He will also argue that cell phone records presented at the original trial were not reliable.
The state also gets to rebut the arguments. Documents indicate they are planning to call expert witnesses, and potentially even the original detectives or state prosecution team that handled the case.
Even after the hearing, the next episode could be a long way off. There’s no promise that the judge will rule immediately in the case.
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