Adnan Syed—subject of the original Serial podcast documenting the legal saga surrounding his conviction for murdering his high school girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999—was released from prison today after 23 years. Syed will be detained at home for 30 days until prosecutors decide whether to seek a new trial or drop the charges. From the New York Times:
[Prosecutors] said that an investigation had pointed to two possible "alternative suspects," although those individuals have not been named publicly or charged.
Judge Melissa M. Phinn of Baltimore City Circuit vacated the convictions "in the interests of fairness and justice," finding that prosecutors failed to turn over evidence that could have helped Mr. Syed at trial and discovered new evidence that could have affected the outcome of his case[…]
Mr. Syed, who was 17 at the time, had steadfastly maintained his innocence, and questions about whether he had received a fair trial drew widespread attention when "Serial" debuted in 2014. The podcast became a pop-culture sensation with its detailed examination over 12 episodes of the case against Mr. Syed, including the peculiarities of his lawyer, who agreed to be disbarred amid complaints of wrongdoing in 2001 and died in 2004.
But it wasn't until this month that prosecutors recommended that his conviction be vacated and that he be granted a new trial because, they said, "the state no longer has confidence in the integrity of the conviction."