A new court brief has been filed in the Adnan Syed case, which is connected to the hearing to vacate his conviction. Adnan Syed spent over 20 years in prison after being convicted of killing Hae Min Lee. Last year, his conviction was vacated by a judge after prosecutors presented evidence that cleared him of the charges. Eventually, the charges against Syed were dropped altogether.
Young Lee, Hae Min Lee’s brother, has been fighting in the courts to have the hearing redone so that the Lee family can have a more meaningful part in it. An appeals court ordered a new hearing, and now the matter is before the Maryland Supreme Court. Attorneys for Young Lee have filed a motion asking to uphold the ruling for a new hearing and be allowed to review evidence in the case.
David Sanford, Young Lee’s attorney, stated that two significant principles are at stake in this case. The first principle involves the rights of criminal victims in Maryland, urging the Maryland Supreme Court to recognize the right of victims and their representatives to participate meaningfully in the criminal justice system. The second principle involves the transparency and adversarial process in criminal justice proceedings.
In an earlier court brief, Syed’s attorneys asked the Maryland Supreme Court to reverse the appeals court ruling that reinstated his murder conviction. A Baltimore City judge had previously ruled to vacate Syed’s conviction in September 2022, but before the appeal could be heard, the charges against Syed were dropped by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office due to DNA evidence clearing him. The appeals court then denied the Lee family’s appeal before a hearing could take place. However, in March 2023, the Appellate Court of Maryland reinstated Syed’s original murder conviction and sentence, citing a violation of the victim’s family’s right to attend the hearing on the motion to vacate charges. In May, Syed’s request to reconsider the reinstatement of his murder conviction was denied by the Appellate Court of Maryland.