HBO's new documentary, The Case Against Adnan Syed, is providing more and more new evidence that calls the case's guilty verdict into question.
Viewers are just a week away from the conclusion of the docuseries, which follows up on the murder case originally explored in the podcast Serial. As the battle for appeals rages on, the investigators are starting to lay out some of the new evidence that they believe could exonerate Syed for the murder of his high school girlfriend.
This week, that included a fresh look at the cell phone records used as evidence against Syed in 1999. At the time when Syed was convicted, cell phones were new and uncertain technology, and now investigators believe they may have been utilized unfairly.
In Sunday's episode, Syed's lawyers Susan Simpson and Rabia Chaudry discussed the cell phone records that AT&T provided to police at the time. They were used to pinpoint Syed's location near the place where his girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, was buried, but the company itself admitted that this was an unreliable method.
"It also says, 'Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status. Any incoming calls will not be considered reliable information for location,'" Simpson pointed out on the paper. "I ask Rabia, 'Hey, it turns out those calls aren't reliable.' And she goes, 'Oh yeah, no one's ever seen that before.'"
"This is a piece of evidence no one ever realized existed for all these years," agreed Chaudry, a family friend.
"Every call that they use to show something incriminating is an incoming call," Simpson went on. "The only calls linking Adnan to the burial site are the incoming calls. The only calls linking Adnan to Kristi's place are the incoming calls."
In spite of this evidence, things are at a standstill for Syed. Two days before the docuseries began airing, the Maryland court of appeals denied Syed a new trial, sending him back to square one. Syed has been in prison since 2000 for allegedly kidnapping and murdering Lee, though he has maintained his innocence the entire time.0comments
Syed's case became a viral story across the world when Serial began airing in 2014. Co-produced by NPR, the show laid out the evidence used to convict Syed, and the evidence he and his lawyers felt was passed over. This included a prominent alibi witness, whom Syed's lawyer at the time ignored. While things may be on hold for Syed, the docuseries is carrying on.