The lead-up to and aftermath of Adnan Syed’s release from prison will be chronicled in a new follow-up episode of the HBO docuseries, The Case Against Adnan Syed. An exact release date for the episode hasn’t been announced, but it’s expected to arrive in 2023.
Director Amy Berg started filming the follow-up episode back in early 2021, and she was on hand earlier this week when a Baltimore judge vacated Syed’s first-degree murder conviction and ordered his release from prison.
HBO said Berg will have “exclusive access” to Syed now that he is out of prison, and the next month especially will be pivotal for him. Despite being released from prison and having his conviction thrown out, Syed isn’t entirely off the hook just yet. Prosecutors have 30 days to decide whether to fully drop the charges against him or try him again. Until that decision is made, the judge ordered him to wear a GPS monitor and be placed in home detention.
“We knew the end of The Case Against Adnan Syed was not the end of this story, and we’ve been closely following every twist and turn in the case since the series premiered in March 2019,” Berg said in a statement. “It’s gratifying to see many of the questions and issues probed in the original episodes come to bear on the events of this week.”
Syed was 19 years old when he was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 2000, and he was eventually sentenced to life in prison. Syed has always maintained his innocence, and in 2014, the podcast Serial brought national attention to his case while raising doubts about his guilt. The Case Against Adnan Syed, which premiered in 2019, similarly looked at the incongruities surrounding his case and conviction while also chronicling Syed’s appeals process.
The breakthrough in Syed’s case finally came earlier this month when prosecutors filed a motion to vacate Syed’s murder conviction. Following a multi-year investigation, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office uncovered evidence that pointed to two other suspects that may have been to blame for Lee’s murder (their names were not released). Though prosecutors didn’t say Syed was innocent in their filing, they acknowledged “the State no longer has confidence in the integrity of the conviction.”