The Serial podcast will return with a new episode following Adnan Syed’s conviction being overturned.
Syed, the subject of the wildly popular true crime podcast, had been serving a life sentence for the murder of his high school classmate Hae Min Lee in 1999.
He has always maintained his innocence and, when his case was examined in the first season of the podcast, many questioned whether he had received a fair trial.
Earlier this month, prosecutors recommended that his conviction be vacated and he be given a new trial.
Now, a judge in Baltimore has overturned the conviction, which has freed Syed from prison after 23 years.
Prosecutors will now decide if they will request a new trial, or drop the charges against Syed.
Judge Melissa Phinn said: ‘At this time, we will remove the shackles from Mr. Syed,’ and said his conviction had been overturned ‘in the interests of fairness and justice.’
A tweet from Serial, linking the news, said: ‘Sarah [Koenig, podcast host] was at the courthouse when Adnan was released, a new episode is coming tomorrow morning.’
Syed, who was 17 at the time, was charged after Hae’s body was found partially buried in a park in Baltimore.
After the case was featured on Serial, a follow-up investigation by the State’s Attorney’s Office was prompted, which found that the prosecution failed to notify Syed’s defense attorneys that police had interviewed two other suspects for Lee’s murder, and that neither suspect was ever officially ruled out.
According to the filing, one of the suspects also threatened Lee before her death, saying ‘he would make her disappear. He would kill her.’
By withholding this information, the state may have violated the Brady rule – a Supreme Court precedent which requires prosecutors to turn over any evidence that might be favorable to a defendant.
Prosecutors did not claim that Syed was innocent, but that he required a new trial ‘where he is adequately represented and the latest evidence can be presented.’
The State’s Attorney recommended that Syed be released on his own recognizance or on bail.
‘We believe that keeping Mr. Syed detained as we continue to investigate the case with everything that we know now, when we do not have confidence in results of the first trial, would be unjust,’ Maryland State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby stated.