‘Serial’ Case Update: Adnan Syed Granted Appeal

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serialA Maryland judge sided with Adnan Syed on Friday, granting the focal point of ‘Serial’ permission to appeal his murder conviction for the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee.

The ruling means Syed can start the process of appealing his case. It does NOT mean he’s getting a new trial, or even that Judge Peter B. Krauser thinks he’s innocent. Even though Asia McClain filed a new affidavit just two weeks ago claiming that prosecutors suppressed her testimony, that testimony isn’t even under consideration.

It only means Syed has permission to appeal his case. He’ll still have to ask the judges to consider McClain’s testimony, and convince the panel that attorney Cristina Gutierrez didn’t provide sufficient representation.

On Serial’s website, Sarah Koenig explained what it means this way:

In Episode 10 of the podcast, I reported that this appeal was alive by a thread. Now, I’d say it’s more of a … well-made string, maybe. Like the nylon kind. Because it means that the Court of Special Appeals judges think the issues Adnan raised in his brief are worth considering. That’s a pretty big hurdle for any appellant to clear.

According to court documents, written briefs are scheduled to be filed by April, while oral arguments in the case would be heard in the Maryland Special Court of Appeals in June.

If two pages of legalese don’t satiate your February Serial craving, check out The New York Observer’s interview with teachers at Woodlawn High who knew Syed and Lee.


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