Hae Min Lee’s Family Appeals Judge’s Decision To Overturn Adnan Syed’s Murder Conviction


Hae Min Lee’s family is appealing a Maryland judge’s decision to overturn the murder conviction of Adnan Syed, who was charged with killing the teenager and served more than 20 years in prison before his release last week, according to a court document filed Wednesday.

The one-paragraph notice of appeal was filed by attorney Steven Kelly on behalf of Young Lee, the victim’s brother.

“Young Lee has filed the attached notice of appeal due to violations of his family’s right to meaningful participation in the September 19, 2022 hearing of Adnan Syed’s motion to vacate the conviction,” Kelly told CNN in an emailed statement. “The notice of appeal is the first step in asking the Maryland Special Court of Appeals to consider potential violations of Maryland victims’ rights laws as part of the hearing.”

Lee filed a motion the day of the hearing, saying he hadn’t had enough notice to exercise his right to be present at the proceedings. While Associate Judge Melissa Phinn denied his motion, she ordered a 30-minute recess to allow Lee to leave work and make a Zoom call so he could watch the hearing.

“It’s not a podcast to me, it’s real life,” Lee said during last week’s hearing.

In his impact statement, he said he felt “betrayed” by the state. “I always thought the state was on my side,” Lee said.

“Every time I think it’s over, it’s over, it always comes back,” Lee said through tears.

CNN has reached out to the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office for comment on the notice of appeal.

Syed was serving a life sentence when his murder conviction was overturned earlier this month. He was convicted in February 2000 of first degree murder, robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment in the murder of Hae Min Lee, who was his ex-girlfriend.

The case came under public scrutiny after being investigated on the hit podcast ‘Serial’, which raised questions about Syed’s conviction and legal representation.

Syed’s conviction was overturned after a judge determined that certain documents related to the case were not properly given to defense attorneys. The judge also said two suspects may have been wrongfully cleared as part of the investigation.

“We are not yet declaring that Adnan Syed is innocent,” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said following the judge’s decision to overturn the conviction. “But we declare that in the interests of fairness and justice, he is entitled to a new trial.”

According to Becky Feldman, head of the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office Sentencing Review Unit, Syed is currently required to wear an ankle monitor.

Prosecutors are now weighing whether to pursue a new trial pending DNA analysis to determine whether Syed’s case can be dismissed.


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