The subject of Serial has just received a decision that may be a total game changer!
Adnan Syed was convicted in 2000 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and has been serving a life sentence at Western Maryland state prison ever since.
But when the podcast Serial reopened the case on their own terms and became super popular – a lot of attention was brought back on the cold case.
And now the Maryland Court of Special Appeals totes approved his application for leave to appeal this past Friday on the basis that his former lawyer Christina Gutierrez was ineffective.
However this is only the first step in a very long process, but still this is great news for Syed.
It allows him and his lawyer to give some arguments to the court about why he should either receive a new trial or some other kind of resolution.
The appeal is now set to happen on June 2015.
Here’s what his lawyer C. Justin Brown said:
“It’s the first step in a pretty long process but we’re extremely happy.”
As to what might happen next, Serial host Sarah Koenig went into the specifics on that! She wrote:
“Now that the appellate court has granted this order, what happens next is that, in its June session, a panel of judges will hear oral arguments from Adnan’s side, and also from the state. Neither side can bring in new evidence or witnesses. Then the court will either deny or grant Adnan further relief. That relief could be a whole new trial in the circuit court, or it could be that the circuit court just has to allow Adnan to present new evidence, such as Asia McClain’s testimony.
No matter what the Court of Special Appeals rules, it’s quite possible the whole megillah ends up in Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. Because if this current panel of judges grants Adnan relief, the state is likely to appeal to the highest court; and likewise, if it denies Adnan relief, Adnan’s attorney will probably do the same. So it’s bound to grind on for a long while yet.”
Jeez! Sounds like all of this may not be resolved for a seriously long time.
But we doubt Adnan Syed is complaining after this decision in his favor. We’re sure he’s learned a lot of patience over the past fifteen years.
Stay tuned for June to roll around to see what might happen on the next episode of Serial, er, real life!
[Image via PBS.]