Who is Adnan Syed? Is Vacating a Criminal Conviction on the Basis of Doubt Cast by Podcast Serial Justified?

Convicted criminal Adnan Syed, who the courts had found to have murdered his girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 2000, was given a second chance as the judge quashed his conviction this Monday. The decision came up after the prosecutors stated that they had been reviewing the case for over a year which points towards two alternative suspects.

Syed, who was 19 during the time of conviction, is 41 now. His release and fresh probe into the case have evoked a mixed response on social media. While some said Syed's release has reinstated people's faith in law and justice, a faction of the followers think that he shouldn't have been released till the final probe results are out.

Adnan Syed

Is Vacating a Criminal's Conviction on the Basis of a Doubt Cast by a Serial Justified? Social Media Questions

Owing to the ruthlessness with which Lee was murdered and her body was dumped in woods had made the murder case the most followed ones in the country. During Syed's conviction, the prosecutors had stated that he was a spurned lover who after strangulating Lee dumped her body in Baltimore's Leakin Park with the help of a friend.

However, Syed filed a number of appeals in the last 23 years, which were rejected. Interestingly, in 2014 a podcast serial attracted the attention thereby putting a question mark on his "conviction".

According to a report published in BBC, the episodes of the show have been downloaded more than 340 million times. The case has also spawned other works, including an HBO docuseries in 2019. The report also stated that the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office, which studied the case over the past year alongside Syed's latest defense attorney, said on Wednesday that he "deserves a new trial".

In the reactions that have flooded the social media platforms, some have been connected to racial discrimination as Syed's conviction in 2000 is being seen as injustice done to him because of his color.

"People on twitter arguing over Adnan Syed's guilt/innocence like it's 2014 again," shared a Twitter user while referring to people's arguments on the social media platform.

Another Twitter user wrote, "Podcasts for social justice: "In the Dark"- secured the freedom of Curtis Flowers. "The Teacher's Pet"- Chris Dawson convicted of killing his wife in 1982. I couldn't get through "Serial", but I see Adnan Syed's conviction has been overturned."