There’s a lingering question of whether Adnan Syed will be arrested again, after a Maryland court reinstated the high-profile murder conviction against Syed on Tuesday.
Rabia Chaudry, a lawyer and a longtime public Syed supporter, weighed in on the matter.
“The state can decide that Adnan should be reincarcerated while these proceedings go forward,” Chaudry said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Maryland’s second-highest court reinstated Syed’s conviction, ruling that the hearing at which his conviction was vacated must be done again.
“If we have another hearing, the public is going to hear stuff they hadn’t heard the first time around, which is good,” Chaudry said. “It’s just more evidence for Adnan’s innocence.”
The Appellate Court of Maryland ruled that a lower court failed to give sufficient notice to the victim’s family when it scheduled the September hearing that vacated Syed’s conviction and allowed him to regain his freedom after more than two decades behind bars.
The court’s order does not go into effect for 60 days, which delays any immediate consequences and allows the parties time to decide whether to appeal and schedule upcoming proceedings accordingly.
Syed’s attorney Erica Suter said they will ask the Maryland Supreme Court to review the case.
Maryland law provides victims with the right to prior notice of conviction vacatur hearings, and that right was violated in the case of Hae Min Lee’s brother, the appellate court ruled.
Syed was convicted in 2000 of killing Lee, his high school ex-girlfriend whose body was found in a makeshift grave after her disappearance in 1999.
Baltimore prosecutors moved to vacate Syed’s conviction in September, after they reviewed the case and found alternative suspects and unreliable evidence used at trial.
The lower court then quickly scheduled a hearing on the state’s motion to vacate.
Lee’s brother, Young Lee, was notified on a Friday afternoon that the hearing would take place the following Monday. Giving him only one business day before the hearing was “insufficient time to reasonably allow Mr. Lee, who lived in California, to attend the hearing in person,” instead requiring him to attend remotely, the appellate court ruled.
Young Lee attended the hearing via Zoom, after the judge denied his request to postpone the proceedings one week to allow his in-person attendance.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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