Adnan Syed (of Serial podcast) released

Syed - Motion to Vacate - 09-14-2022.pdf (govdelivery.com)

Adnan Syed was released from jail and had his conviction vacated. Seems there were some Brady violations with regards to evidence that the prosecutors failed to turn over to the defendants - specifically relating to another suspect threatening to kill Hae. Whether or not Adnan did it or was in league on it is not decided here, but prosecutorial misconduct led to the vacation. Of note, one of the lead detectives on this case apparently also had another individual released after withholding evidence on a different suspect on a separate case.

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I wasn’t sure when he would see the light of day. Reading through the motion, I recognize some of the points that came up when I was following the case post-Serial. I’ll be interested to see who the two suspects are if that info is ever released. The case was entirely based on circumstantial evidence and an extremely unreliable witness who had false confession written all over him. I’m happy for Syed.

I still think he did it

I don’t know that he is completely innocent, but he definitely should not have been convicted.

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Any particular reason or based on gut feel?

Unless some new damning evidence comes out, I tend to think he didn’t do it. Regardless, there’s a truckload of reasonable doubt on this one, so he shouldn’t be in prison based on what was presented.

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I think he was at least somewhat involved, though the exact timing of the day and method are under question. I think this because of his involvement with Jay, especially that day, and it seems Jay was definitely involved. I think Jay may have even been the one to perform the actual killing, or in conjunction with Adnan. I don’t see a motive for Jay to do it without Adnan’s involvement.

Things leading me to think this-

  • Adnan did ask Hae for a ride. He changed his story on her response twice and then changed to not asking her. Witnesses corroborated he asked her for one.
  • Adnan lent his car and cell phone to Jay that day, and spent a lot of time with Jay that day.
  • Jay confessed to being an accessory to murder and was facing 5 years in jail for that. The judge ended up deferring his sentence, but that wasn’t a given at the time of his confession
  • Jay knew where the car was
  • Jay told three people that Hae was murdered before they found the body
  • Adnan never tries to call Hae after finding out she was missing, despite frequent calling previously
  • Cell phone towers pings - I know the defense had an expert witness testify they were unreliable, but the guy they used frequently testifies for defense teams across the nation. Unclear on how credible he is. Meanwhile in 2017 the prosecution had the FBI testify that those pings were reliable. I don’t have the technical background to know which expert is reliable, and haven’t listened to the testimonies, but I wouldn’t say it is a slam dunk that they aren’t if you have the FBI testifying they are.
  • Jenn told police that Jay confessed to her that Adnan killed Hae and strangled her. She conveyed the method of killing before the information was publicly available.

So based on Brady violations, and reasonable doubt on Adnan doing it vs Jay, the original conviction might not have stuck. But I don’t think this would mean Adnan is innocent by any means.

I don’t remember enough details to go bullet by bullet, but the autopsy negated the timeline proposed by the prosecution, so whether the cell tower pings are reliable is largely moot other than being one of the big reasons Syed was convicted. Blood pooled in the front of her body, meaning she was face down well into the night after her death in the afternoon, not lying on her side in a trunk and then buried on her side just a few hours later.

Also realized today that the suspect mentioned in the section talking about 2 polygraphs is “Mr. S” who discovered / “discovered” the body. Not sure how many of the other sections are related to him vs the other suspect. I think the other suspect is a serial rapist that was released from prison a few days before Lee’s disappearance.

mmmmmm cereal

who else would have done it? No one else had any motive. An alternate suspect is non-existent

Did you read the motion linked in the original post? There are 2 alternate suspects detailed extensively in the motion. One of them threatened to kill her and had motive.

I would add in Lee’s boyfriend at the time as a suspect as well if he’s not one of the two (I don’t think he is). His alibi was that he was working at the time she was killed, but it came out that there was something funky about his timesheet and his boss was his stepmom.

my memory is very fuzzy at this point but i definitely don’t remember any alternate suspects