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Adnan Syed Released From Prison With Help From Podcast

After more than two decades in prison, alleged murderer Adnan Syed has been released on September 19th, 2022.

An appeal was called for his case, partially due to the popularity of the podcast Serial. Serial produced mass amounts of content including their own investigations about Syed’s conviction that brought more attention to his case. A Baltimore judge overturned Adnan Syed’s original 1999 conviction for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

The podcast Serial aired its first episode on October 3rd, 2014, with the first season covering the entire Adnan Syed case–inconsistencies in evidence, many conflicting reports, and even the competency of Syed’s lawyer was brought into question . The podcast, hosted by Sarah Koenig, had brought mass media attention to the case, including the theories about Syed’s unfair conviction. Many leads were brought up, like withheld evidence, the single witness, and racial biases used to charge Syed.

Lawyer Rabia Chaudry had personally asked Sarah Koenig to look into Adnan Syed’s case, but was no longer happy with how the host had handled certain information, including omitting details to the case. Questions also arose over the ethics of podcasts involving true crime and sensationalizing people’s deaths in general.

The family of the victim, however, called for a retrial. “We’re not challenging the ruling, but asking for the hearing to be redone in accordance with the law,” Kelly told The Associated Press. An actual retrial has yet to be decided on.


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