For now, Adnan Syed is free.
A judge in Baltimore threw out the murder conviction of a man who was the subject of a hit show. According to reporters in the room, she ordered the removal of his shackles and the release of him from home confinement.
Syed had been sentenced to 23 years in prison for killing his girlfriend at the age of 18. Young Lee addressed the court via the internet before Syed was freed.
Lee told the court that he didn't want to listen to the show. It is a nightmare for 20 years and always comes back. He said it was killing him. It's difficult. Although he doesn't object to the investigation, Lee feels betrayed by prosecutors.
Last week, prosecutors asked for Syed's release, saying that the identification of two "alternative suspects" and other evidence had not been disclosed to the defense and prevented him from getting a fair trial. The jury in Syed's first trial heard the judge call his defense attorney a liar. He was found guilty of Lee's murder, along with kidnapping and robbery, and was sentenced to life in prison.
TheSerial reexamined the case at the request of Syed's childhood friend, Rabia Chaudry. It spawned a tidal wave of true crime shows and books. The case against Adnan Syed was the basis for the docuseries The Case Against Adnan Syed and Chaudry wrote a book about it.
Several legal actions in Syed's case have been aided by Chaudry and others. His conviction was restored a year after it was thrown out. The Supreme Court turned down his appeal. In order to have his sentence reduced, prosecutors agreed to conduct new DNA tests on evidence from the original case.
Despite prosecutors agreeing that the system had failed Syed, there is still a debate over who is responsible for Lee's death. Critics have accused Chaudry and Sarah of missing important information. The hub for lively true crime discussion and debate was on the site. Many considered the incriminating details in the trove of court documents obtained by redditors to be incriminating.
The prosecutors have 30 days to decide if they will try Syed again or not. With the amount of time Syed has already served, the spectacle of a third trial, and the resources a renewed investigation would demand, they may decide to let him walk free.