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Maryland Supreme Court mulls if it will hear appeal from Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed, whose case was at the center of the hit podcast “Serial,” will remain free while the Maryland Supreme Court considers whether it will hear an appeal on the reinstatement of his murder conviction.

The state’s highest court on Thursday agreed to press pause on restoring Syed’s murder charges. The decision came in response to a request from Syed’s lawyer, Erica Suter, who asked the court to issue a stay in the case and to prevent her client from potentially being incarcerated while it considers whether to hear an appeal.

Syed was sentenced to life behind bars in 2000 for the murder of his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, but has maintained his innocence in the decades since. He was freed in September 2022 by City Circuit Court Judge Melissa Phin, who concluded trial prosecutors failed to turn over evidence indicating someone else could have been behind Lee’s slaying.

But Lee’s brother, Young Lee, appealed the ruling, arguing that his family’s rights were violated because they weren’t given the opportunity to attend the hearing that led to Syed’s release. In March, a panel of judges sided with the victim’s loved ones and reinstated Syed’s conviction, calling for a do-over of the hearing in question.

Syed, who has always maintained his innocence, was just 17 when Hae Min Lee was found strangled to death and buried in a makeshift grave back in 1999. He was arrested weeks later and ultimately convicted of murder in 2000.

In court documents filed earlier this week, Suter requested a review of several legal issues, including whether former Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s decision to dismiss Syed’s charges invalidated the family’s court challenge. She also noted that Syed, now 42 years old, has been working as a Program Associate at Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative since December.

The filing further pointed out that Syed has been caring for his elderly parents — his father suffers from dementia while his mother has been diagnosed with leukemia.

“Mr. Syed’s return has meant a better quality of life for his loved ones as he is able to assist with the day-to-day management of his parents’ health, transport them to doctor’s appointments, and generally be of service to them,” the court filing said.

With News Wire Services

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