BALTIMORE– The Maryland Attorney General’s office is backing an appeal by the family of a murdered woman after a Baltimore judge overturned a man’s murder conviction in a case chronicled by a groundbreaking podcast.
Hae Min Lee’s brother, Young Lee, asked the Maryland Special Court of Appeals to halt legal proceedings for Adnan Syed, whose conviction for Lee’s 1999 murder was overturned by the Circuit Judge of Baltimore, Melissa Phinn, in September.
Young Lee is asking the appeals court to suspend the Oct. 18 deadline for prosecutors to decide whether to drop the charges against Syed or retry him. Lee argues that his family did not receive adequate notice of the Sept. 19 hearing in which Phinn overturned Syed’s conviction.
Attorney General Brian Frosch’s office, which represented the state in opposing Syed’s appeals, said in a court filing on Friday that Young Lee had the right to appeal given his status as a victim representative, reported the Baltimore Sun. The filing argues that Lee’s appeal should be dealt with before any circuit court ruling renders it moot.
Syed, who has always maintained his innocence, served more than 20 years of a life sentence. He was convicted of strangling Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park. Syed and Lee were students at a high school in Baltimore County.
The first season of the popular ‘Serial’ podcast focused on the murder of the 18-year-old and raised doubts about some of the evidence prosecutors used to secure Syed’s conviction.
Phinn ordered Syed’s release from jail after Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s office said it found evidence that should have been disclosed to Syed’s attorneys. Prosecutors said a reinvestigation into the case revealed evidence regarding the possible involvement of two other potential suspects.
Phinn ruled that the state violated its legal obligation to share evidence that could have bolstered Syed’s defense. She ordered that Syed be placed under house arrest with GPS location monitoring.