The Supreme Court rejected Adnan Syed’s bid for a new trial in the murder of Hae Min Lee, the case that was at the center of the podcast Serial.
On Monday, the Supreme Court left in place a 4-3 ruling by Maryland’s highest court that rejected Syed’s bid for a new trial, on the grounds that his lawyer Cristina Gutierrez had failed to interview a witness who had placed him in the school library around the time of Lee’s death.
“We are deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court but by no means is this the end of Adnan Syed,” defense attorney C. Justin Brown told the Associated Press in a statement. “There are other legal options and we are exploring each and every one of them.”
Syed has been in jail since 2000 serving a life sentence for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Proseuctors alleged that Syed strangled Lee after she broke up with him.
The smash hit 2014 Serial podcast, however, interviewed a witness named Asia McClain, who claimed to have seen Syed in the high school library around the time that Lee would have been murdered. Syed’s original lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez, did not interview McClain or call her to the stand during his original trial. (Gutierrez died in 2004.)
The podcast reignited public interest in the case and prompted Syed’s lawyers to file for a new trial, claiming that Syed’s right to competent legal representation had been denied. Although two of Maryland’s lower courts sided with Syed, in 2018 Maryland’s highest court voted 4-3 against him, prompting Syed’s team to ask the Supreme Court to review the decision.
As of Monday, the Supreme Court has yet to provide comment on its decision against Syed.