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Maryland court overturns murder conviction for Serial's Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed.

Adnan Syed, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2000 for the alleged murder of his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, has had his conviction overturned by Maryland's second-highest court, The Baltimore Sun reports. The case was the topic of the first season of the podcast Serial, in which Syed maintains he is innocent and was wrongfully convicted.

"Because Syed has proven both the performance and prejudice prongs of the Strickland test, we conclude that his claim of ineffective assistance of counsel has been established," the court wrote. "Accordingly, Syed's murder conviction must be vacated, and because Syed's convictions for kidnapping, robbery, and false imprisonment are predicated on his commission of Hae's murder, these convictions must be vacated as well. The instant case will be remanded for a new trial on all charges against Syed."

A circuit court first vacated Syed's conviction in 2016; the decision Thursday, by an intermediate appellate court, upholds that decision. The Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton writes that "the state can still take the case up to Maryland's highest court. One of the three judges issued a dissenting opinion today, which may embolden the state."