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Baltimore Court Overturns Adnan Syed’s Conviction and Drops Charges.pdf (70.83 kB)

Baltimore Court Overturns Adnan Syed’s Conviction and Drops Charges

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posted on 2023-07-28, 19:18 authored by Gabby Ramansci

Introduction to Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed was 23 years through a life sentence for first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping, and false imprisonment when on September 19 he was released after his conviction was vacated by Judge Melissa Phinn of Balitmore City Circuit Court [1]. Less than a month later, on October 11, 2022, Baltimore prosecutors dropped the charges against Adnan Syed for killing his then-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.

Reasoning Behind Vacating Syed’s Sentence

The question becomes why was Syed’s conviction overturned? The answer lies in the DNA evidence of the case. The case started in 1999, when there was less technology than what we have today. Additionally, the case was handled quite sloppily, showing that prosecutors had evidence for two potential suspects swept under the rug, “including at least one who had motive to kill Lee” [2]. The Baltimore City State Attorney ordered DNA tests for clothing of Lee that had previously gone untested thanks to new technology we have in the 21st century. What DNA evidence came back was said to have multiple samples of DNA, but that none of it matched Syed’s.

The Future of Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee’s Case

Lee’s family did appeal Syed’s conviction, but the Maryland Court of Specials Appeals has given them two weeks to justify their appeal. Both prosecution and defense attorneys say that in the future they hope to go through the court process of exoneration for Syed. As for the case of Lee’s murder, it is still an open case to find the killer, but for Syed the charges are dropped, and he is a free man.



American University (Washington, D.C.); Juris Mentem Law Review


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