Maryland’s second-highest court has ruled that Adnan Syed, whose murder conviction was the subject of the hit podcast Serial, should get a new trial. The decision was issued Thursday by the Court of Special Appeals which upheld a lower-court ruling that Syed’s counsel in his original murder trial was deficient and ineffective.
In its opinion Thursday, the three-judge panel affirmed that the defense team’s “deficient performance prejudiced Syed’s defense,” explaining that his counsel failed to contact a potential witness whose alibi could “have raised a reasonable doubt in the mind of at least one juror.”
The ruling upholds a previous decision to vacate Syed’s 2000 conviction for the murder of his former girlfriend Hae Min Lee and sends the case back to Maryland’s circuit court, where he would be retried. Prosecutors may appeal Thursday’s decision to Maryland’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.