Has anyone ever accused you of doing something wrong like breaking a mug? Imagine being accused of something much bigger, like murdering someone. That is what happened to a 17 year old named Adnan Syed in 1999. This is what happened, On January 13, 1999 in the afternoon, Hae Min Lee (the ex-girlfriend of Adnan) was supposed to go pick up her little cousin after school, but she didn’t pick her up. Hae attended Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, Maryland. She was very smart, popular, and athletic. Hae’s and Adnan’s parents were both very strict and did not allow them to date each other so they continued their relationship secretly. Hae’s body was later found in Leakin Park (a park known for having dead bodies). The autopsy showed that Hae was strangled to death by someone.
Adnan should be granted a new trial because this case is almost impossible to solve since there isn’t enough clear evidence to convict him. There is some evidence related to cell phone towers and a testimony that is inconsistent and very unreliable. There are no surveillance videos or DNA samples that would cause anyone to think that Adnan killed Hae. The investigators also checked if any soil around Hae’s body was on the bottom of Adnan’s shoes, but there was not any. Adnan could have been very careful to not leave any evidence but this is unlikely because Adnan was not a criminal. The other thing that could have happened was he got very lucky that the investigators didn’t find any evidence.
The second piece of evidence is Jay’s testimony. Jay said that Adnan had said to him that he was going to kill Hae. This was a valid piece of evidence until Jay changed his story from his first interview to his testimony. He first said, he and Adnan went to Westview Mall and that is where Adnan told Jay he would kill Hae. In his testimony, he said they were on the way to Security Square Mall when Adnan said he would kill Hae. How could Adnan get convicted if Jay’s stories are so inconsistent? He also said that Adnan showed him Hae’s body in his trunk at Edmenson Avenue. In his testimony he said that Adnan called him from a payphone at Best Buy (that doesn’t exist) and told him to meet him there. As Jay arrived Adnan showed Hae’s body to him in the parking lot. There is too much inconsistency to convict Adnan based on Jay’s testimony so either Jay doesn’t remember or he isn’t telling the truth.
Adnan should also get a new trial because the police used Jay to place the guilt on Adnan. Jay’s stories could have changed because the police might have been telling him what to say. Maybe that is why Jay didn’t get any jail time. The prosecutor also painted a picture of Adnan as a possessive, embarrassed, and angry young man. They used him being Pakistanian to say that he was possessive over women because that is how that culture is. They said Adnan was embarrassed because him and Hae had to hide their relationship due to their religious backgrounds. Lastly they said he was angry because Hae had broken up with him which hurt him mentally causing him to kill her. Lastly Adnan’s classmates said they could not say he was guilty because there wasn’t enough proof to say he did it. Although, they also couldn’t say he was innocent because it was still possible that he killed Hae.
There is a lot of evidence in this case but there isn’t any that makes it clear who killed Hae. But, with Jay’s testimony being inconsistent and the lack of evidence in this case I believe that Adnan was wrongfully convicted and should be granted a new trial. There was clearly not enough evidence to put him in jail but his lawyer did not argue that enough and the prosecutors did not stop fighting until they made the decision that Adnan was guilty. The state did not have enough evidence to give Adnan a life sentence to prison based off of an unreliable testimony and a couple of cell phone tower pings which was fairly new technology back in 1999. Lastly, because Adnan was not completley connected to Hae Min Lee’s murder, he never should have been put in prison.
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