Maybe, possibly, if, perhaps, assuming, supposing; these are words that describe and basically summarize Adnan Syed’s case. I personally believe that Adnan is innocent based on the information presented about the case in both episodes 1, and 12 of the Serial podcast. I recognize that there are some discrepancies between some claims Adnan has made, and some evidence, but they do not overcome my reasoning for why I believe he is innocent
In episode 1, Koenig introduced the audience to whom the prosecution’s star testifier was in the case. This man is no other than Jay. The way I look at it, there would be no case if the prosecution did not have Jay on their side. Is the story of one person versus another enough to convict someone? In this case, it was, and that is not all that was surprising. The court accepted Jay’s testimony even though his recollection of what happened that day kept changing every time he retold the story. Bad liar; that is the only thing that pops up in my mind when I think about Jay. Yes, it is possible that Jay might not have remembered exactly what happened on that day, as it was a few weeks back, but then again, he shouldn’t have said something if he wasn’t sure about it. Also, it seemed like Jay’s story kept changing in a way that the prosecution would benefit from. I think that it is a definite possibility that the prosecution “influenced” Jay to change his story. Not only am I basing this thought off the fact that it kept changing in their favour, but in episode 12, Don talks about how the prosecution was literally yelling at him for telling the truth. They wanted Don to make it seem like Adnan was a creep, but when Don testified truthfully, they got mad at him. When I heard about the prosecution getting mad at Don, I immediately thought how the case went from going against the accused murderer, to it being more of a personal attack. If there is no evidence of who the murderer was, then the prosecution should not pick and choose someone random, and then mould the entire case up. Is their objective to achieve justice, or is it to simply have someone locked up so that their job is technically complete?
The first episode was called, “The Alibi,” and this title is referring to Asia Mcclain, who was the unheard of alibi. To this day, Koenig, or anyone involved in the case cannot really say why Mcclain was not used to testify as an alibi, or why she wasn’t even contacted. It may be seen as a technique to not use an alibi, but not contacting the alibi is a complete mistake in the eyes of any qualified attorney out there. For this reason, I believe that Mrs. Gutierrez was also at fault for Adnan’s conviction. I don’t only think this because she made mistakes in the case itself, but there are other factors. According to a source, Gutierrez had family problems going on, and she was actually disbarred shortly after this case (due to connections in other cases). I do not entirely blame Gutierrez for Syed’s conviction, but she definitely had outside factors affecting her role as an attorney. Back to Asia Mcclain; if she had been used as a witness, and told the court that she saw Syed at the time the prosecution claims Lee was killed, then the state’s claims would have been absolutely knocked down.
Another reason why I believe Syed is innocent is because there just is too much doubt in the case. The US constitution states that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Does Jay’s constantly changing story fall under the category of reasonable doubt? Absolutely not. It is also said in the constitution that it is up to the state to prove the defendant guilty, and it’s not the defendant who proves himself innocent. When I hear this, I think about how the state has proved the defendant guilty. They make Syed look like a bad person, by trying to influence Don to talk down about him during his testimony. I also believe that they formulated Jay’s story for him, and these two actions are their way of holding up to the constitution, and “proving the defendant guilty.”
There is also the cell tower records that were used against Syed to prove his location at certain times. The evidence itself would not be doubted, but Syed’s defence failed to look at it carefully, and read that the incoming call location pings are not reliable enough to be used for location, and ironically, this was the other big piece of evidence used against Syed. The fault in this goes back to the lawyer, as she did not even bother to check if there were any loopholes or fineprint to make the evidence inadmissible.
In the final episode, Koenig also reveals a man named Ronald Moore. He was a serial-killer and rapist who had been in jail. Moore was actually released from jail into the Baltimore area only 10 days before Hae Min Lee went missing. There is no actual evidence yet that Moore was in any way involved with this murder, but DNA testing is planned on being done. Also, Moore was connected to another murder case where someone had been arrested mistakenly, but this was found after he had already committed suicide. People may think that since he was just released from jail, he would probably refrain from criminal activity, but no, he was actually arrested again a short while after for burglary, and sexual assault. This indicates that he had not learned his lesson, and still makes him a prime suspect. What are the odds that Moore is connected to this case? Well, it isn’t certain that he was the murderer, but one thing for sure is that it is very possible.
I have talked about Syed’s lawyer, and Moore (who is another possible suspect), but it all comes down to the state proving Syed beyond reasonable doubt, which they clearly have not. For this reason, my opinion that Syed is innocent remains unchanged.
Prince, S.J. “Ronald Lee Moore: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know.” Heavy.com. N.p., 18 Dec. 2014. Web. 28 July 2017.
Staff, Crimesider. “Prosecutor: “Serial” questions don’t make Adnan Syed innocent.” CBS News. CBS Interactive, 09 Feb. 2016. Web. 28 July 2017.
Model Charge: Burden Of Proof Presumption Of Innocence, Reasonable Doubt. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 July 2017.
Koenig, Sarah and Julie Snyder. “The Alibi.” Serial, season 1, episode 1, WBEZ, 3 Oct. 2013, serialpodcast.org/season-one/1/the-alibi. 28 July 2017.
Koenig, Sarah and Julie Snyder. “What We Know.” Serial, season 1, episode 12, WBEZ, 3 Oct. 2013, serialpodcast.org/season-one/1/What-We-Know. 28 July 2017.