I can’t believe I haven’t covered the Serial podcast’s coverage of the Adnan Syed case before now. If you haven’t heard of Adnan Syed or Serial, you probably live under a rock (no judgment here, maybe it’s nice living under a rock). For those of you under-a-rock-dwellers: Serial is a spinoff podcast from the public radio program This American Life. Serial’s first season covered a murder case out of Baltimore, Maryland where a teenager, Adnan Syed, was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Serial brought up the very real possibility that Adnan Syed could be innocent (personally, I was convinced – whether he actually did it or not – that there was no way he should’ve been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt). If you haven’t listened to it, it’s definitely worth a listen.
Syed has faced an uphill appellate battle – but the case just took a turn in his favor when the Maryland Court of Special Appeals ordered a lower court to consider hearing the testimony of Syed’s alibi witness (a key centerpiece of Serial’s coverage) Asia McClain. McClain’s testimony could lead to Syed getting a new trial.
I hope momentum stays in Syed’s favor. After listening to Serial, whether you think Syed did it or not, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that his trial could’ve turned out differently had everything Serial uncovered been presented to the jury. That’s the common sense bottom line to the way I see these things: if it could’ve mattered to the jury, they should get the chance to hear it.