A Fair Trial For Adnan

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A Fair Trial For Adnan

This petition had 31,539 supporters
Petition to
Friends of Adnan Syed

Why this petition matters

Started by Rabia Chaudry

Our Request

We, the signers of this petition, urge the State of Maryland, its judiciary and the officers of its Courts to undertake all efforts to ensure the reopening of a post-conviction proceeding for Adnan Syed and urge the Courts to grant him a new and fair trial.

We believe that new information recently revealed in popular media upends previous court rulings that Mr. Syed is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the premeditated murder of Hae Min Lee. This new information necessitates a reopening, not only as a matter of law, but also in keeping with Maryland’s proud tradition of judicial fairness and the best interests of justice in our free and democratic society.

In light of this new information, we impel Maryland to restore Adnan’s constitutional right to due process and allow a fully-informed court to rule on Adnan’s fate and the rest of his life, having lost nearly sixteen years of it behind bars already. 

Our Reasoning

Adnan is the subject of Serial, a podcast that explored the circumstances of Ms. Lee’s 1999 death in emotionally trying yet revelatory detail. The podcast, along with an interview subsequent to the podcast with the prosecution’s key witness—Jay Wilds—revealed evidence of perjury against the court that, if previously known, would have drastically affected the outcome of Adnan’s trial. 

Our Evidence

Jay Wilds—the sole witness who incriminated Adnan—repeatedly lied about Adnan’s alleged involvement in the Ms. Lee’s murder. Jay’s admissions contradict testimony that he gave under oath at Adnan’s trials and thus serve as clear evidence of Jay’s perjury.  

In an interview with the online digital magazine The Intercept, published on December 29, 2014, Jay narrates a new version of the events allegedly surrounding Ms. Lee’s murder. Specifically, he changes:

1) The location at which he claimed to view Ms. Lee’s body. At trial, Jay claims to have seen the body in Ms. Lee’s car at a parking lot in a nearby Best Buy. In the interview, Jay claims to have seen the body at Jay’s grandmother’s house.The chain of events in which Jay acquired Adnan’s car. Jay testified that Adnan offered Jay his car, showing evidence of premeditative intent to kill Ms. Lee. In the interview, Jay claims that he asked to borrow Adnan’s car and DID NOT RELAY any intent to kill Ms. Lee.

2) The time at which he and Adnan allegedly buried the body in Leakin Park. At trial, Jay testified he and Adnan buried Ms. Lee in around 7pm on January 13, 1999, a claim "corroborated" by the State using cell phone records showing calls made by Adnan's phone at that time. In the interview, Jay now claims the body was buried close to midnight,completely refuting the previous use of cell phone records as circumstantial evidence.

3) That Adnan killed Ms. Lee after track practice that day and called him subsequent to that, which would mean the crime happened after 5pm. However, the State maintained through two trials that Ms. Lee was killed by 2:36pm that day. 
The perjury undercuts the credibility required of a witness in order to convince a jury of Adnan’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Additionally, the prosecution's case was first-degree murder based on kidnapping and false imprisonment by fraud. This means that the State had to prove that Adnan "loaned" Jay his car to create a ruse for asking Ms. Lee for a ride that would end in her death. Jay’s new narrative as provided to The Intercept undermines a first-degree charge because Jay's recent admissions show that he had no evidence of any premeditation on the part of Adnan.

The Serial show also revealed the atrocious extent of religious and ethnic bias used against Adnan, how the jury was influenced by it, as well as being influenced by Adnan not testifying though they were instructed not to weigh that against him. Nearly 300 references to Adnan's religion and ethnicity were made in his trial. 

Furthermore, a tremendous failure by all parties occurred in the investigation of this case. Neither the police, prosecutors, or defense counsel investigated any of the following:

  • Jay and his accomplice Jenn's movements and call records
  • Jay's premises
  • Students at school who saw Adnan and Hae during the time the State alleges the murder took place 
  • Forensic testing against anyone other than Adnan and Jay 
  • DNA testing on key pieces of physical evidence
  • Accounting for incoming calls on Adnan's call log 
  • Producing phone records for all others connected to the case 
  • Failing to interview or call to trial those who were part of the State's key witnesses's narrative (Phil and Patrick)

Its is vital to understand that that no physical evidence ties Adnan to the crime despite his home, car, clothing and shoes being testing for such evidence, that the Serial podcast produced witnesses that saw Ms. Lee at the school well after the State contends she was killed, and that the State's only witness, who served no time in prison as an accessory after the fact due to a plea deal, has publicly admitted lying to police, prosecutors, the Court, and the jury. 

Our Conclusion

Maryland courts have the power to open Adnan’s post-conviction proceeding if its finds that the interests of justice compel reconsideration based on evidence of perjurous statements made under oath at trial. Jay’s interview with the Intercept, as well as evidence of his repeated lies to police and to the court, provide evidence of perjury. The perjury completely undermines the State's case against Adnan and violates Adnan’s due process rights. We therefore respectfully ask the court to open Adnan’s post-conviction proceeding and further remand the case for a new trial. 

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