The Serial Podcast is a podcast series about Adnan Syed and the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. Adnan who was 17 at the time, was convicted of the 1999 murder of Hae. Serial is another investigation of the case in the form of journalism. There were no legal proceedings involved with the podcast. Sarah Koeing, the creator, took another close look at Adnan’s case, the evidence, and the holes involved.
Eventually the trial all came down to one thing. Adnan could not recall where he was during the window of time when Hae died.
Less than half an hour caused him to spend his life in prison.
I personally believe that Adnan is innocent.
In an article written in 1999 by the Baltimore Sun, the motive that Adnan supposedly had to brutally strangle Hae to death was because she wanted to break up. Lee’s family however was surprised at the arrest because they knew Adnan to be one of Hae’s best friends. Although Adnan tells Koeing, the creator of the podcast, that he was not angry and didn’t have any hard feelings towards her after. The fact that Adnan had nothing against Hae after the breakup is also supported by Hae’s next boyfriend, Don. When Koeing interviewed Don, he told her about the day that he met Adnan. Hae’s car had broken down and she called Adnan to help. When they arrived to Hae’s work, Don who was her coworker came out to look at it. Don said “He (Adnan) was very polite…we joked and spent 10-15 minutes talking.” (Serial, Episode 12). I think that these supporting factors rule out the proposed motive. Adnan did not seem like the type to be an angry ex-boyfriend to anyone. The Lee family was shocked that it could be him and Don said that Adnan was nice to him and didn’t seem like he was angry.
The next point that makes me think that Adnan is innocent is Jay’s story. Jay says that he
helped Adnan bury Hae and that Adnan told him that he wanted to kill Hae. This is what Jay testifies in court on the witness stand. Jay’s story however, drastically changes in his police interviews. It doesn’t match up to the rest of the evidence either. He can’t remember who called them and when, even though he was the one who apparently had Adnan’s phone and he also can’t remember who they called. Jay’s stories don’t match each other or any other evidence that was provided. In episode 12 of the podcast, Jay also speaks of the lawyer in the trial. Jay says that the lawyer yelled at him in an angry way because he did not make Adnan sound creepy. Jay seems suspicious in my opinion because of how murky his stories are and the lawyer seems like he is looking for a pay check, not justice.
A final point that supports my opinion is Adnan’s defence lawyer, Cristina Gutierrez. Serial revealed that the jury in Adnan’s first trial overheard a conversation between Gutierrez and the judge where the judge called her a “liar”. This would have swayed the jury to not believe what she was saying about Adnan and listen to the prosecuting lawyer. the judge called a mistrial so this would not happen. A new jury was selected and the trial had to be started over. (Serial, Episode 10). Gutierrez also did not examine all witnesses and evidence throughly. Entertainment Weekly published an article on what Gutierrez failed to do that could have changed the outcome of the trial. She failed to interview the only possible alibi that Adnan had, Asia McClain. Gutierrez did not bring up the lividity of Hae’s body. Lividity or Liver Morits, is the settling of blood in the lower portion of the body after death. This causes a discolouration. Hae was found buried on her right side but the discolouration was found on the anterior part of her body, or stomach and chest. Hae’s lividity however shows that she was laid out on her stomach shortly after her death for about 8 to 12 hours. If she investigated the cell phone tower pings she would have learned that it was not reliable evidence which placed Adnan in Leakin Park. Adnan’s latest attorney, C. Justin Brown, states that Gutierrez had this evidence but failed to use it.
I think that Adnan is innocent because he did not have a motive to kill Hae, Jay who is supposed to be his accomplice can’t tell the story of what happened without mixing up details, and Adnan’s defence lawyer did not use key witnesses and evidence that would have changed the outcome of Adnan’s case.