The attorney for the state of Baltimore filed a petition in circuit court, saying that a lengthy investigation conducted with the defense uncovered new evidence that could undermine the conviction of Syed, the ex-boyfriend’s ex-boyfriend. by Lee.
“The motion filed today in favor of a new trial against Syed builds on a nearly year-long investigation that revealed undisclosed and newly developed information regarding two alternate suspects, as well as as cell phone tower data is unreliable,” the state attorney’s office Marilyn Mosby said in a news release.
Syed, 42, has maintained her innocence for decades and captured the attention of millions in 2014 when the first season of the podcast “Serial” focused on the case and cast doubt on the case. some evidence, including cell phone tower data.
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Prosecutors on Wednesday said they did not assert that Syed was innocent, but they lacked confidence “in the integrity of the conviction” and recommended that he be released or released on bail.
“We believe it would be unjust to detain Mr Syed as we continue to investigate the case with all we know for now, when we do not have confidence in the outcome of the first trial, ‘ added Mosby.
The state attorney general’s office said that if the court approves his offer, it will place Syed in a new adjudication status, and his sentence will be vacated, but the case will remain active.
“Whether the State will ultimately proceed with this matter or dismiss the charges will depend on the outcome of the ongoing investigation,” the state attorney’s office said.
Prosecutors say a reinvestigation of the case that lasted about a year has revealed evidence of the possible involvement of two alternative suspects other than Syed, who became known to authorities 23 years ago. years but were not disclosed in Syed’s defense. Neither the prosecutor nor the defense will release the identities of the suspects because of the ongoing investigation, according to the recommendation.
One of the suspects threatened Lee, saying “he will make her (Miss Lee) disappear. He’s going to kill her,” according to the filing.
“Due to the lack of credible evidence regarding Mr. Syed, coupled with the growing body of evidence pointing to other suspects, this unjust conviction cannot stand,” said Assistant Police Assistant Erica Suter, an attorney for the agency. Mr. Syed and, Director of Innocence Project Clinic said. “Mr. Syed is grateful that this news has finally seen the light of day and looks forward to his day in court.”
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Prosecutors said the investigation also found a separate document from the original trial record in which another person relayed information that could be seen as the suspect’s motive. harm the victim, prosecutors said. Information about threats and motives for harm may provide the basis for a defense and is not disclosed to trial or to post-conviction defense attorneys, the state attorney’s office said.
Prosecutors also said new information revealed that one of the suspects was found guilty of assaulting a woman in her car, and one of the suspects was found guilty of participating in the rapes and mass sexual assault.
The state attorney general’s office declined to release information about the suspects due to an ongoing investigation.
Prosecutors also noted unreliable cell phone data was used during Syed’s trial to verify his whereabouts on the day of the crime. The notice on the filing specifically advises that billing location for incoming calls “will not be considered reliable information for location.”
“Evidence demonstrates that the State should not have relied on incoming call evidence,” the state attorney general’s office said.
Syed spent more than 20 years in prison for strangling Lee, then 18 years old. Her body was found a few weeks later and buried in a Baltimore park.
More than a decade later, the popular podcast “Serial” has revealed little-known evidence and garnered millions of listeners, disrupting podcast streaming and downloading.
In 2016, a lower court ordered Syed’s retrial on the grounds that his attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, who died in 2004, failed to contact an alibi witness and offered no advice. effective.
But after a series of appeals, Maryland’s highest court in 2019 dismissed a new trial on a 4-3 position. The appellate court agreed with the lower court that Syed’s legal counsel failed to investigate an alibi witness, but they disagreed that the omission affected the case. The court said Syed waived his ineffective attorney’s claim.
The US Supreme Court declined to review Syed’s case in 2019.
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