There’s Been A New Development In The ‘Serial’ Murder Case

If you’re one of the millions of people who avidly followed Serial, the podcast co-created and hosted by American journalist Sarah Koenig that examined a murder case from 1999, chances are you’re already aware of the most recent development in the legal case. Adnan Syed, the man convicted of the murder of Hae Min Lee is currently serving a life sentence, though he has always maintained his innonce. And now, largely thanks to the focus Serial placed on discrepancies within the prosecution’s case against him, Syed will now be given a new hearing. 

Basically, this means that lawyers will be able to present new evidence including a testimony from Asia McClain, which could be an alibi for Syed as Asia claims to remember seeing him on the afternoon of January 13th 1999, when Hae Min Lee was reportedly killed. Syed’s defence team will also address allegations that his initial legal representation was ineffective, and the infamous mobile phone data will be called into question. 

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The prosecution’s original case against Syed relied on data obtained from mobile phone towers to locate him near the place where Lee’s body was discovered, but such information is now thought to be hugely unreliable. In fact, the phone company which provided the data itself warned: “Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will NOT be considered reliable information.”

The hearing is due to be scheduled in the next 10 days. While the case still hasn’t been re-opened, this is the first time that a judge has allowed new evidence to be submitted, marking a huge development in this case. 

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In case you weren’t hooked on the podcast, it involved Koenig and her team examining the minutiae of Syed’s case, looking at every scrap of evidence (or lack thereof) involved in his conviction. While the team themselves only expected a few thousand downloads, they made history when Serial became the fastest podcast to reach five million downloads on iTunes. Since then, more and more listeners have downloaded it, making for a huge global audience. 

Due to its unprecedented success, Serial has announced it will return for a further two seasons, although it will be examining different cases.