Port: Shocked about what has happened to Adnan Syed? That can happen in North Dakota, too
MINOT, N.D. — Adnan Syed is a man in Maryland whose case was made famous by the “Serial” podcast, which, in its own right, was perhaps more responsible than any other single production for the modern popularity of true crime programming.
Syed was released after years in prison after prosecutors requested that the courts vacate his conviction amid concerns over a Brady violation.
The Brady v. Maryland U.S. Supreme Court precedent found that it was unconstitutional for prosecutors to withhold potentially exculpatory evidence from defendants. If the state has evidence that could be used in your defense, they have to turn it over. When you hear people talk about “discovery” in a criminal proceeding, this is what they’re talking about.
In Syed’s case, it turns out the prosecution had notes indicating someone else had been threatening the victim, Hae Min Lee, before she was murdered. Clearly, important stuff which should have been turned over. That it wasn’t got Syed out of prison.
But now Syed may be heading back to prison, not because of anything having to do with his guilt, but because prosecutors, according to an appellate court, failed to properly notify Lee’s family about the hearing where his conviction was vacated. Hae Min’s brother, Young Lee, attended the hearing virtually but wasn’t given enough time to be present in person.