Prosecution drops criminal charges against Adnan Syed

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Police office is standing in front of a courthouse. (Photo courtesy of DEELIN/Pexels)

Less than a month after his conviction was overturned in Baltimore City Circuit Court, prosecution agreed and moved to drop all charges against Adnan Syed.

Syed regained his freedom after new DNA tests found no evidence that linked him to his ex-girlfriend and victim, Hae Min Lee. Syed was previously charged with first-degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

The fact that there are two other potential suspects, one of whom had alleged motive to kill Lee, played a key role in his overturned conviction and dropped charges, according to The Washington Post

The dismissal of Syed’s charges comes after “advanced DNA testing” was done on Lee’s shoes, skirt, pantyhose and jacket. Items, which according to Baltimore City’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby as reported by CNN, “had never been tested before.” 

At UNLV, Muslims express their joy over the update of Syed’s case.

“I’m glad that it went it did, and didn’t go the way I thought it would go,” said Zain Raja, President of the Muslim Student Association (MSA).

Raja says that in Muslim cases and Muslim relations, it “usually doesn’t work out [in the American criminal justice system],” which is why he was so hesitant because he “didn’t know what was going to happen.” 

“I think that it definitely gives us hope,” said Farida Elmasry, Vice President of MSA. She said that Muslims are used to seeing cases similar to Syed’s not going anywhere. However, Elmasry said that now, “we’ve seen the steps that it took; we’ve seen the miracle.” 

In light of the recent developments in Syed’s case, Lee’s family has filed a motion to appeal Syed’s overturned conviction on the notion that they “weren’t given enough notice to reasonably participate in the hearing,” according to The Baltimore Sun. 

On Oct 12, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals gave Lee’s family fifteen days to provide evidence as to why their appeal of Syed’s overturned conviction and dropped charges should not be dismissed. 

Attorney Steve Kelly, the Lee family’s attorney, told the Associated Press that the family “is not challenging Syed’s release, but instead wants the judge to hold another hearing that the family can attend in-person and address the court.”  

However, according to Mosby as reported by The New York Times, “It’s still an open and pending case, but with regard to Adnan Syed, the case is finished.” 

As it stands, Syed is still required to certify his innocence, a separate process that requires the court to formally declare his innocence.

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