The Case Against Adnan Syed

Twenty years ago, a Baltimore high school student named Hae Min Lee was murdered. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, claimed he was innocent of the crime, but he was arrested and given a life sentence. This story came to the world’s attention back in 2014 as the subject of the first season of NPR’s mega-popular podcast Serial, and though it has somewhat faded from the pop culture consciousness five years later, documentarian Amy Berg is putting the spotlight on it again with a four-episode series that provides “new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case” against Syed. Check out the first trailer for the upcoming docuseries below.

The Case Against Adnan Syed Trailer

Serial host Sarah Koenig spent twelve episodes examining the facts of the case, interviewing Syed and several major players, and even going as far as to retrace Syed’s steps to see if his involvement was plausible. Serial may have fallen off in quality lately, but there’s a reason that first season was such a huge hit: it’s a compelling exploration of a real-life mystery, and it cast serious doubts on Syed being Hae Min Lee’s killer.

Berg, who was nominated for an Oscar for directing 2006’s Deliver Us From Evil, tackled a story of the wrongfully-convicted West Memphis Three in her 2012 documentary West of Memphis. I don’t know if Syed is guilty, but Berg has proven that she’s an exceptional researcher and she’s earned my trust for telling powerful stories with real-world consequences. Syed’s case has been appealed several times (largely due to claims that his first lawyer failed to adequately fight for him in the initial trial), and he’s still in prison…possibly for a crime he didn’t commit.

Here’s the official description:

In production since 2015, THE CASE AGAINST ADNAN SYED closely re-examines the events leading up to Hae Min Lee’s disappearance, from high school romance, forbidden love and cultural conflict, to the aftermath of her disappearance, the original police investigation and the present day, when Syed awaits a new trial. Presenting new discoveries, as well as groundbreaking revelations that challenge the state’s case, and featuring exclusive access to Syed, the defense team, the Syed family, friends and teachers of Hae Min Lee and Adnan Syed, and members of City of Baltimore law enforcement, the series traces how the rush to justice and Syed’s conviction in 2000 raised more questions than answers about what happened to Hae Min Lee, underscoring the instability of memory and conflicting eyewitnesses.

The Case Against Adnan Syed will debut on HBO this spring.

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