The Most Famous True Crime Podcast Case Just Got Overturned Again And Followers Are Shocked

True-crime podcast Serial studied the case of Adnan Syed and directly led to his conviction being overturned, but now due to a technicality regarding alerting the victim's family, it is reinstated.

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Serial Adnan Syed
Adnan Syed

Back in 2014, the podcast Serial took the world by storm, engrossing millions of people in the murder case of Hae Min Lee and the conviction of Adnan Syed, who was arrested and convicted of her murder in 2000. Following the podcast‘s success, a Baltimore court freed Syed from his life sentence, citing prosecutorial misconduct. Today, Variety reports that a Maryland state court is overturning the decision and sending Syed back to prison due to a technicality with paperwork.

That’s right, and the infamous case has been overturned again for a reason that has nothing to do with evidence or Syed’s actions; instead, it’s because Hae Min Lee’s brother wasn’t notified of the hearing to vacate Syed’s sentence. The court found this violated Young Lee’s rights, vacating the earlier vacation and reinstating the previous sentence. To say that Twitter is upset over this turn of events, based entirely on a court mistake, would be putting it mildly.

Jon Cryer, star of Two and a Half Men and, most recently, The CW’s Supergirl, points out that Hae Min Lee’s family was represented and even spoke at the hearing. That undercuts the court’s reasoning that the entire decision freeing Syned had to be tossed out because her brother wasn’t present.

Twitter user @Shawn_Foss cited a news report with quotes from the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, which said, “we used advanced DNA to determine it was not Adnan Syed.” The Serial podcast’s thesis that police railroaded Adnan Syed continues to be backed up by evidence, supported by the same system that arrested him in the first place. If the prosecutors think the new evidence exonerates Syed, and the family attended the hearing, what’s really going on here?

@justin_fenton shared a statement from Marilyn Mosby, which again expresses confusion over the court’s ruling on a technicality. Of course, other users quickly responded that Mosby’s mishandling of the case in the first place is why Serial looked into the case and why Adnan Syed was convicted in the first place.

Another aspect of the decision that should be considered comes from @fantastic_vol_2, pointing out, correctly, that Hae Min Lee’s family is not to blame. They were the ones that lost a loved one in a senseless act of violence, and no one can truly understand the pain they have been going through for over 20 years. Though the family was cited as the reason for overturning the previous ruling, they aren’t to blame.

The next step is an appeal, which will likely be upheld, and the lower court ruling will be reinstated. None of the evidence will be re-examined as part of the legal proceedings since the issue is now a court technicality. If it weren’t for Serial, Adnan Syed would still be in prison with a life sentence, and now thanks to a true-crime podcast, he can argue for his freedom from outside a jail cell.