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New 'Serial' Podcast Episode Explains Adnan Syed's Release From Prison

The latest episode of Serial is an addition to 2014's first season, updating fans on what's behind the stunning turn of events in Syed's case.

Imad Khan Senior Reporter
Imad is a senior reporter covering Google and internet culture. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with The New York Times, The Washington Post, ESPN, Tom's Guide and Wired, among others.
Expertise Google, Internet Culture
Imad Khan
2 min read
Adnan Syed leaving the courthouse after his conviction was overturned.

Adnan Syed leaves the courthouse after being released from prison Monday, Sept. 19 in Baltimore.

Baltimore Sun/Getty Images

It's been six years since the last time the Serial podcast feed was updated with an episode related to the show's first subject, Adnan Syed, but a new installment is out now chronicling the events surrounding his release from prison on Monday. 

In the episode, out Tuesday, host Sarah Koenig explains changes at the prosecutor's office, and to Maryland law, that allowed for Syed's release following a judge vacating his conviction for the murder of his former high school girlfriend. She explains that the motion to exonerate came out of the prosecutor's office, the same office that fought to keep Syed in prison back in 1999. The prosecutor's office now says that when its lawyers went back and looked at the case, it didn't hold up. 

There's also the Juvenile Restoration Act, a 2021 Maryland law that allows courts to reconsider the life sentences of juveniles after they've spend 20 years in prison and are no longer deemed a danger to the public. Syed was 17 when he entered prison.  

The latest Serial episode explains how after the law went into effect, Erica Suter, Syed's attorney, asked the prosecutor's office to reexamine the case. Upon further investigation, prosecutor Becky Feldman felt the case didn't do a sufficient job addressing Syed's culpability in the murder of Hae Min Lee. Digging into case files, Feldman saw handwritten notes that suggested an alternate suspect in the case that was not handed over to the defense. Not handing over helpful evidence to the defense is known as a Brady Violation. Feldman then filed a motion to vacate Syed's conviction.

The state said there's an "overwhelming cause for concern."

Prosecutors now have 30 days to decide whether to move forward with a new trial or drop the charges.