Adnan Syed freed


Photo Credit: Reuters

September 19, 2022, at the age of 41 Adnan Syed was released into home detention after it was found that prosecutors failed to turn over key evidence in the murder case against him in 1999.

In 1999 Syed was sentenced to life for the killing of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, Syed being just 17 at the time of his conviction. Syed has served over 22 years in prison since the conviction, spending the entirety of his adulthood behind bars. Syed made multiple appeals throughout his sentence all being denied.

After Syed’s release, he awaited the decision of the prosecutors on whether to begin a new trial. On Tuesday, October 11th prosecutors dropped charges against Syed after testing did not find any DNA belonging to him on any of the evidence recovered from the scene. Syed maintained his innocence throughout the entire case insisting on a DNA test

The Greyhound News Editorial Board believes that this case should have been revisited decades ago since it has been substantially flawed from the beginning. 

DNA testing was first used in the state of Maryland during the 1993 trial of Albert G. Givens, a handyman convicted of murdering and sexually assaulting a woman in her Arnold home. 

This took place six years before the murder of Hae Min Lee so why was DNA testing not utilized early on in the case? Especially considering the popularity of this case, almost everyone in America wanted to find out who the killer was.

“I think it should have been used as soon as it was offered. I feel like it should always be used when the imprisoned person asserts their innocence,” said Mrs.  Carolyne Dymond, Teacher here at NHS, when asked if DNA testing should have been used earlier in this case. 

 The strongest evidence against Syed was Jay Wilds’s story that he helped Syed hide Lee’s body and led the police to Lee’s car. His story was very loosely told and consistently changed throughout the case and at the time Wilds was dealing with his own criminal charges. With so many holes in this case how was DNA testing not conducted throughout all these years?Syed sat behind bars for 23 years while the key evidence that would set him free sat in the hands of Baltimore police.

Syed spent the most critical period of his life behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. He was behind bars for 23 years longer than he had even been alive at the time. How can our justice system fail so miserably that we sentence an innocent 17-year-old boy to life in prison?  Not only did they just fail Syed they failed the parents of Hae Min Lee whose closure was completely stripped of them now having to live with the fact that the evil that took away their firstborn child is still out there.

“I think that what happened to Syed was awful, and the blame should go to our criminal justice system for failing him. That is 23 years of his life that he can’t have back, and there’s no amount of money that can give that time he lost back.” said Thomas Barry, Senior reporter and Sports Editor. 

Two lives were lost that day, the life of Hae Min Lee and the life that Adnan Syed was supposed to have. We will never know the man that 17-year-old boy could’ve been before that day.