Professor Colin Starger discussed Adnan Syed‘s case with The Daily Record for a story published Oct. 24, 2016.
In “Syed lawyers request his release pending appeal,” by Heather Cobun, J.D. ’13, Starger — co-director of the new Pretrial Justice Clinic — said Syed was in an “in-between zone.”
Baltimore City Circuit Judge Martin Welch ruled in June that Syed should have a new trial based on evidence presented at a postconviction hearing. Though Welch vacated Syed’s conviction, his ruling was stayed pending appeal.
Said Starger: “[Syed is] almost presumed legally innocent [and] but for the stay of the Circuit Court ruling, he would be.”
Syed, whose case was the focus of the popular Serial podcast, was denied bail in 1999 after the state alleged, among other things, that he would flee to Pakistan if released. Syed is a U.S. citizen.
“For me, one of the most powerful things here is to rectify the clear injustice of how he was denied any kind of release the first time around,” Starger said.
Syed was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999 and burying her in a park. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years.