If you’re reading this site, chances are you’re already familiar with the “Serial” podcast—we’ve written about it here, here, here, and here—and the first season was downloaded about 100 million times since launching last October. After gripping listeners, the true crime case the podcast outlined—the 1999 murder of Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee, allegedly by her former boyfriend Adnan Syed—was reopened by a Baltimore judge Friday, giving his lawyers the chance to present new evidence that could release him serving his sentence.
Syed’s Motion to Re-Open GRANTED https://t.co/plbKFn2Anp
— Justin Brown (@CJBrownLaw) November 6, 2015
So, why is the case being reopened? It all comes down to where Syed actually was on the day Lee disappeared. You’ll remember from “Serial” that Syed received the guilty conviction following some pretty damning evidence—even his biggest advocates struggled to explain why data from cell towers could place him near the location where Lee’s body was later found. Well, his case is being reconsidered due to “an alleged failure to properly cross-examine the State of Maryland’s expert on cell tower location reliability” in his original trial. In other words, Syed’s lawyers are arguing that cell information might not be accurate after all.
Lawyers also want to investigate a possible alibi who said she may have seen Syed on the day of the murder.
Technically, this is called “post-conviction proceedings,” which is different to getting a full new trial. The order explains that only new evidence relating to cell phone data and Syed’s potential new alibi will be considered. Stayed tuned, we’ll be watching this one closely.