Adnan Syed's murder conviction reinstated by Maryland's Court of Appeals
BETHESDA - Adnan Syed's murder conviction was reinstated Tuesday following an opinion released by Maryland's Court of Appeals.
The opinion argues that the state violated the rights of the victim's family to attend the hearing on the motion to vacate, with victim Hae Min Lee's brother Young Lee only receiving notice one business day before.
"Because the circuit court violated Mr. Lee’s right to notice of, and his right to attend, the hearing on the State’s motion to vacate, in violation of CP § 8-301.1(d), this Court has the power and obligation to remedy those violations, as long we can do so without violating Mr. Syed’s right to be free from double jeopardy. We can do that, and accordingly, we vacate the circuit court’s order vacating Mr. Syed’s convictions, which results in the reinstatement of the original convictions and sentence," reads the opinion. "We remand for a new, legally compliant, and transparent hearing on the motion to vacate, where Mr. Lee is given notice of the hearing that is sufficient to allow him to attend in person, evidence supporting the motion to vacate is presented, and the court states its reasons in support of its decision."
Syed was sentenced in 1999 to the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Prosecutors dropped charges against Syed in September 2022 in the 1999 killing of Lee after additional DNA testing excluded him as a suspect in a case that was chronicled by the hit podcast "Serial."
The opinion states that the reinstatement of Syed’s original convictions and sentence will be effective 60 days after the opinion’s release to give "the parties time to assess how to proceed in response to this Court’s decision."