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'Serial' Is Set to Drop a New Episode Tomorrow After Adnan Syed's Conviction Was Overturned

Eight years after the first season of 'Serial' investigated the death of Hae Min Lee, the podcast is returning to Adnan Syed's story following breaking legal developments.
By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
September 20, 2022
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By Sarah Ward and Samantha Teague
September 20, 2022
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2022 marks 23 years since Baltimore high-school student Hae Min Lee was found dead, and 22 years since her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed was convicted of her murder. It also marks eight years since the case became an international obsession thanks to the first season of Sarah Koenig's grimly addictive podcast Serial. Since the latter, the details have rarely been out of the spotlight — including the legal situation, as well as Syed's ongoing quest to have the extremely complex matter reassessed in the years after he was found guilty. And come Wednesday, September 21, the case will fuel a brand-new episode of Serial as well.

Yes, everyone's favourite 2014 true-crime podcast obsession is returning to its original subject, with the Koenig-hosted audio series Serial set to drop a new episode about Syed. The reason? After more than two decades in prison, Syed's conviction has just been vacated by the Baltimore City Circuit Court, with Syed released today, Tuesday, September 20, Down Under time.

Syed has been released into home detention while the state has 30 days to decide whether to pursue a new trial or dismiss the case.

The New York Times reports that Judge Melissa Phinn overturned the conviction "in the interests of fairness and justice". Her ruling came after finding that prosecutors did not turn over evidence that may have assisted Syed during his trial, as well as new evidence might've influenced the outcome.

Serial confirmed via social media that Koenig was at the courthouse when Syed was released, and that a new episode of the podcast will arrive tomorrow morning US time.

Syed was convicted of first-degree murder in 2020, sentenced to life in prison, and has been fighting his case through the courts ever since. While he was granted a new trial in 2016, that ruling was subsequently appealed by the State of Maryland — only for the Court of Special Appeals to agree to vacate Syed's conviction and finally give him that retrial. Then in 2019, in Maryland's Court of Appeals, that retrial request was denied, but Syed's attorney committed to keep battling.

Lee's murder and Syed's conviction were also the subject of HBO documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed, which picked up where Serial's 12-episode first season left off — not only exploring 18-year-old Lee's death in 1999 and Syed's conviction the year afterwards, but the latter's ongoing legal questions. The doco featured everything from Lee and Syed's relationship to the original police investigation and trial, and also the developments up until when it released in 2018, gaining exclusive access to Syed, his family and his lawyers.

Keen to re-binge Serial today? Aren't we all. If you don't have time, The Case Against Adnan Syed is available to stream via Fetch in Australia — and you can check out the trailer below:

Serial's new episode about Adnan Syed will drop on Wednesday, September 21 Australia and New Zealand time. Keep an eye on Serial's website for further details.

Image: The Case Against Adnan Syed, Syed Family / Courtesy of HBO. 

Published on September 20, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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