This story has had as many dramatic plot twists as any Hollywood drama that was ever written.
Adnan Syed became a star on the internet while he sat in a prison cell as a convicted murderer. Most of us came to know his name via the hit 2014 podcast Serial which detailed the murder case of Hae Min Lee who a jury once believed was the victim of a grisly death at the hands of Syed. The podcasters set out to prove that Adnan was innocent and although they weren’t successful in the height of Serial popularity, their efforts were not in vain as Syed’s case was vacated on appeal last year. Now, remember that aforementioned plot twist? Here it comes…
According to an NPR report, after months of enjoying his newfound freedom, Syed’s conviction has been reinstated on a technicality. Now before your blood boils too hot, Adnan will not be sent back to prison. However, the Appellate Court of Maryland decided 2-1 that the victim’s rights (Hae Min Lee’s brother) had been violated, and thus a new hearing needs to take place. Young Lee was only given one business day to attend the hearing that would vacate Adnan’s conviction and that was insufficient according to the court.
“Allowing a victim entitled to attend a court proceeding to attend in person, when the victim makes that request and all other persons involved in the hearing appear in person, is consistent with the constitutional requirement that victims be treated with dignity and respect,” the court ruled.
Public defense attorney Erica J. Suter told Deadline that Lee was able to “attend” the hearing via Zoom call and that should’ve been sufficient without reinstating Adnan’s conviction and redoing the pomp and circumstance of an official hearing.
“The Appellate Court of Maryland has reinstated Adnan’s convictions, not because the Motion to Vacate was erroneous, but because Ms. Lee’s brother did not appear in person at the vacatur hearing,” Suter said. “We agree with the dissenting judge that the appeal is moot and that Mr. Lee’s attendance over Zoom was sufficient.”
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