Sarah Koenig, the Peabody-winning journalist who launched Adnan Syed’s murder case into the public consciousness with her hit 2014 podcast “Serial,” released a new episode on Tuesday, the day after Syed was freed after 23 years in prison.
“Adnan Syed got out of prison yesterday,” Koenig said in her introduction. “It was extraordinary,” before breaking down the events that led to the stunning court reversal.
Judge Melissa Phinn of the Baltimore City Circuit Court ruled on Monday to vacate Syed’s life sentence and murder conviction after an investigation found that prosecutors withheld the existence of two additional suspects in the 1999 murder of Syed’s ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.
“According to the prosecutor’s office, they didn’t set out to pick apart Adnan’s case — their own case, mind you. They say it just kind of crumbled once they took a hard look,” Koenig said of the details uncovered about the original investigation and trial.
A Baltimore prosecutor stumbles upon two handwritten notes in Adnan’s case file. They change everything. A new episode from season one, out now. https://t.co/0O60tPrtxS
— Serial (@serial) September 20, 2022
“Adnan’s case was a mess — is a mess. That’s pretty much where we were when we stopped reporting in 2014,” Koenig said. “Baltimore City Police have told the prosecutor’s office they’re gonna put someone back on the case. Someone will try to talk to the two suspects … I have zero predictions about what could come of that. But I do know that the chances of the state ever trying to prosecute Adnan again are remote at best.”
The judge gave the prosecution 30 days to decide whether to pursue a new trial against Syed. In the meantime, he is free on home detention and is being monitored by GPS.
While celebration has been widespread for Syed’s release, the brother of Lee said he feels “betrayed” by the decision.
“I always thought the state was on my side, but out of nowhere I hear that there’s a motion to vacate judgment … I feel betrayed,” said Younger Lee in a statement released to the media.
At the court house where Syed was released, Steve Kelly, an attorney for the Lee family, told ABC News, “This family is interested in the pursuit of justice. They want to know, more than anybody, who it was that killed Hae Min Lee.”