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Oct. 25 — Adnan Syed’s attorney filed a motion on Oct. 24 requesting Syed’s release on bail, according to an e-mail from the firm.
If the court grants the request, Syed—subject of the viral podcast “Serial”—could be released from prison pending the appellate proceedings. The chances of the court granting that request are about 50-50, said Colin Miller, an evidence professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law in Columbia, S.C..
“On one hand you have a murder conviction and murder case that might be retried,” Miller told Bloomberg BNA. “On the other, it seems like a lot of the state’s case has been undermined in the last few months.”
Miller is also one of three hosts for the podcast “Undisclosed,” which examined evidence not highlighted in “Serial” and analyzes evidence from other wrongful conviction cases. Rabia Chaudry, who brought Syed’s case to the attention of “Serial” producer Sarah Koenig and has advocated for Syed’s innocence, is another host.
Syed was convicted in 2000 of the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. He has maintained his innocence.
Syed received a new trial in June after a judge ruled his original trial attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, provided ineffective assistance. The Maryland Attorney General filed an application for permission to appeal the decision (99 CrL 522, 7/6/16).
The bail motion, written by C. Justin Brown, of Brown & Nieto, Baltimore, seemed to lay the groundwork for strategy following a potential win on the appeal, Miller said. While he said he couldn’t exactly guess the reasoning behind the motion, it’s possible the defense is either aiming for a plea with time served or discouraging the state to retry.
“Certainly you can look at it as making a clear statement to the prosecution that they are better off not taking this case to a retrial,” Miller said.
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