In the five months since Sarah Koenig’s Serial podcast ended, a lot has happened, and not just wild speculation festering in the bowels of various subreddits. Adnan Syed, the man who was charged and convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend 15 years ago, was granted an appeal; Jay Wilds gave his first public interview; potential witness Asia McClain, who was never interviewed by Syed’s defense team, said she never recanted her testimony against him; and we finally know who said “mail kimp.”
Though Team Jay and Team Adnan may fundamentally disagree on the court verdict, one thing is pretty clear: Cristina Gutierrez, Syed’s attorney, didn’t do a very good job handling evidence or witnesses. Asia McClain, the former classmate of Syed’s who claims she can place him in the library at the supposed time of Hae Min Lee’s murder, was never even interviewed by Gutierrez, a move that may or may not have had a life-changing effect on Syed’s verdict. (McClain’s memory of seeing Syed in the library was tied to snow, but there was no snow on January 13, 1999, the day in question.) McClain was interviewed for the Serial podcast, but was never contacted by Gutierrez.
After a series of appeals, Maryland’s Court Of Special Appeals said yesterday that it would grant Syed’s request for the lower court to hear the evidence provided by Asia McClain’s affadavit. McClain says that not only was she never contacted by Gutierrez, she was also discouraged from attending the post-conviction hearings. The court stated that “we believe a stay of this appeal and a limited remand to the circuit court is in the interest of justice.” This is potentially good news for Syed, whose appeal stated that he believed McClain’s testimony “is reasonably likely to to change the outcome of the post-conviction proceeding.”