‘Serial’ podcast subject Adnan Syed refused new trial by US Supreme Court

The 40 year-old was convicted of murder in 2000, before becoming famous courtesy of the podcast 14 years later

Adnan Syed, subject of the Serial true crime podcast, has been refused a new trial by the US Supreme Court.

The 40 year-old is serving a life sentence in jail after being convicted of murdering Hae Min Lee in 2000, before becoming the focus of the new podcast when it launched in 2014.

In April of 2018, Syed was granted a new trial after losing a similar retrial two years previous. This March, the Maryland Court of Appeals re-instated Syed’s conviction for the murder of the 17 year-old.


Since the re-conviction, Syed’s lawyers argued that the trial’s failure to fully investigate an alibi witness affected the outcome of the trial, but the highest court in the US has now sided with the prosecution, agreeing with its 4-3 outcome from the original retrial, and won’t grand Syed a reprieve.

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A petition to the Supreme Court from Syed’s lawyers rea: “Few of Syed’s classmates could remember Syed’s activities right after school on the day Lee was killed.

“Indeed, only two teenagers could testify on that issue: The first—Jay Wilds—said that Syed showed him Lee’s body in the trunk of a car shortly after school. The second—Asia McClain—said that she talked to Syed at the library adjacent to the high school between 2:15 and 2:35 pm that day, and that others could corroborate her story.

“The facts of this case are eye-catching –  One high school student murdered and another sentenced to life in prison. A prosecution witness with an inconsistent story and an alibi witness who never testified at trial.

“Syed’s case has inspired podcasts, a documentary, and countless news articles. This petition, however, is about a straightforward legal issue.”


A new HBO documentary miniseries, The Case Against Adnan Syed, aired back in March of this year.