“I understand how difficult this is, but we need to make sure we put the blame on the right person,” Becky Feldman, the state’s assistant attorney, told the judge and identified other suspects. He described a case that overturned a decades-old conviction that included faulty cell phone data, unreliable witness testimony, and potentially biased detectives.
After the hearing, State Attorney Marilyn Mosby said investigators could wait for the results of a “DNA analysis” before seeking a new trial date or drop the case against Said and “prove his innocence.” He said he would decide.
Said was serving a life sentence after being convicted of strangling 18-year-old Lee, who was found buried in a park in Baltimore.
Mosby’s office said in a news release last week that the investigation “uncovered undisclosed, newly developed information about two alternate suspects and unreliable cell tower data.” Other suspects were known at the time of the initial investigation, but had not been properly excluded and disclosed to the defense, he said, as the investigation is ongoing, information about the suspects has not been released. said the prosecutor who refused to release the
Prosecutors said they did not claim Saeed was innocent but were unsure of the “integrity of the conviction” and recommended his release on his own approval or bail. It said the motion, if granted, would effectively put it in a new trial position to vacate Syed’s conviction, but the case remained ongoing.
Syed was handcuffed and taken to a crowded courtroom on Monday. In a white shirt and tie, he sat next to a lawyer. His mother and other family representatives were in the room, as was Mosby.
In 2016, a lower court ordered a retrial for Saeed on the grounds that Saeed’s attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, who died in 2004, failed to contact an alibi witness and provided invalid counsel.
However, after a series of appeals, in 2019 Maryland’s Supreme Court dismissed the new trial by a 4-3 vote. The Court of Appeal agreed with the lower court’s opinion that Syed’s attorneys were flawed in their failure to investigate alibi witnesses, but did not agree that the flaws prejudiced the case. He said he had dismissed his lawyer’s claims.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review Syed’s case in 2019.
The true crime series was the brainchild of longtime radio producer and former Baltimore Sun Reporter Sarah Koenig. He spent her more than a year digging into Sayid’s case, reporting her findings in near real-time in her hour-long segments. The 12-episode podcast won a Peabody Award and revolutionized the reach of podcasts to a wider audience.
During the hearing, Lee Hye-min’s older brother Yong Lee said in court that he felt betrayed by the prosecution because he thought the case had been resolved.
“This is not a podcast to me. This is reality,” he said.
Speaking outside court after the verdict, Mosby expressed sympathy for Lee’s brother and said he understood why he felt betrayed.
“But as administrators of the criminal justice system, we also understand the importance of ensuring equality, justice and fairness. That is also the right of defendants,” she added.