Though Adnan Syed, the man convicted of murder who became the subject of the popular podcast Serial, has appealed to a Maryland court, the attempt to have his conviction overturned may be denied after a recent development.
The prosecutors in Syed’s appeal, the Attorney General and an Assistant Attorney General of Maryland, have responded to Syed’s appeal and requested that the court deny the application, according to papers filed this week.
Syed’s appeal is predicated on his belief that his defense attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, did not properly seek a plea deal for him. However, the State of Maryland’s Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General state that “there is no proof whatsoever that [Syed] and the State could have presented a plea agreement that was acceptable to the court.” According to their filing, the judge in the case proceeded not expecting there to be any guilty plea discussions.
“…Having failed to present a cognizable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel,” the State of Maryland believes that Syed’s appeal should be denied, according to their summation.
Syed, who was convicted of killing Hae Min Lee in 1999, became the subject of Serial after producer Sarah Koenig began investigating his case. Since the podcast completed its first season, the prosecutor in the case, as well as Jay Wilds (a key figure in Syed’s story), have spoken about Syed, Serial, and how the podcast portrayed real life events from their perspectives.
Whether the court sides with Syed, the Innocence Project’s Deirdre Enright has told Time that she intends to file a motion for DNA testing of physical evidence that was never tested in the original case.
The court said it would make a decision about Syed’s application after it had received the state’s response.