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Charges against Adnan Syed dropped by prosecutors

Adnan Syed’s conviction was vacated last month, and now the prosecution is dropping the charges against Syed

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Adnan Syed leaves the courthouse after a hearing in Baltimore.

Adnan Syed, center right, leaves the courthouse after a hearing on Sept. 19, 2022, in Baltimore. A judge has ordered the release of Syed on Tuesday, Oct. 11, after overturning his conviction for a 1999 murder that was chronicled in the hit podcast “Serial.”

Jerry Jackson, The Baltimore Sun via Associated Press

Last month, Adnan Syed’s murder conviction was vacated by the state of Maryland. Syed had been charged and convicted of murder in the case of Hae Min Lee. When his conviction was vacated, the prosecution had 30 days to either proceed with a new trial or drop the charges.

The New York Times reported that charges against Syed were dropped on Tuesday.

According to CNN, Syed has always maintained his innocence. The podcast “Serial” brought forward new evidence that was used in a new investigation. CNN reported that this new investigation yielded two new suspects and “also raised questions about the reliability of cell phone data records, which were used to corroborate testimony of a witness who said he helped Syed dig a hole for the victim’s body.”

The Guardian reported that authorities are waiting on DNA analysis to confirm Syed’s innocence. The Associated Press later reported that “additional DNA testing excluded Syed as a suspect in the strangulation of Lee, whom Syed had dated.”

This news follows Monday’s report from Fox 5, which said that Lee’s family asked the Maryland court to pause the proceedings because they believed that they were not notified about Syed’s vacation of conviction soon enough.

People magazine reported last month that Lee’s family was disappointed that it could not have as much of a voice in the proceedings leading up to Syed’s conviction.

While Syed was given an ankle monitor and GPS tracker to wear upon his conviction being vacated, he is now considered a free man, according to The Guardian.