Syed's new attorney C. Justin Brown isn't pulling any punches when it comes to his faith in his client. Syed has said he was innocent and that there was no evidence that he committed the crime. "The instant case will be remanded for a new trial on all charges against Syed", the panel wrote in its statement.
Adnan Syed's chance at a retrial was upheld on Thursday, and while his attorney acknowledged this is just another phase in a years-long fight, he also credited the podcast Serial for helping to bring forward their new key witness.
The ruling can still be appealed to the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, which means Syed's conviction could be upheld. Syed was 17 at the time he was found guilty and given a life sentence.
The Attorney General of Maryland appealed that decision, however, which resulted in the question of whether or not to throw out the conviction going before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
The podcast "was enormously helpful" in garnering support for Syed, his lawyer Brown said at a press conference Thursday.
Before his trial, Syed gave his lawyers two letters from Asia McClain, a fellow student who said she saw Syed at a library around the time of the murder.
Prosecutors declined to comment or to say whether they will appeal the ruling to the state's highest court. The program won a Peabody Award in April 2015, and has since been downloaded nearly 200 million times. "If the state is so confident in their case", Brown argued. "We're ready to try the case".
In the ruling, the judge said that Syed had received ineffective legal counsel at his trial because his original lawyer had failed to call a witness whose testimony, if believed, "would have made it impossible for Syed to have murdered Hae". Now, after a 2-1 ruling, it looks like Syed is finally getting the trial he deserves.