Baltimore court vacates conviction of Adnan Syed, subject of the hit podcast “Serial”



United States

In an unpublished Order to Vacate in State vs. Adnan Syed, Case Nos. 199103042-46, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge granted the State’s motion to vacate judgment of conviction of the defendant, Adnan Syed, on three counts: murder in the 1st degree, kidnapping, and false imprisonment. 

Brady violation

The judge found that the State proved there was a Brady violation, and thus a violation of Md. Rule 4-263(d)(5). This rule requires prosecutors in a criminal proceeding to provide to the defense, without request, all material or information in any form, whether or not admissible, that tends to exculpate the defendant or negate or mitigate the defendant’s guilt or punishment as to the offense charged. The judge did not detail the exculpatory evidence at issue.

New evidence 

Additionally, the State discovered new evidence that created a substantial or significant probability that the result from the original criminal trial would have been different. The judge did not detail what kind of new evidence was discovered, or when or how this evidence was discovered. The judge only noted that the new evidence was not discovered in time for a new trial under Md. Rule 4-331(c)

The State was given 30 days to decide whether they will retry the accused 

The Court ordered the State to either schedule a date for a new trial or file a formal notice abandoning prosecution of the vacated counts within 30 days of its order. 


The defendant’s conviction was vacated and he was released on his own recognizance but placed on home detention with a GPS monitoring device.

October 24, 2022
Author: Grace Baehren
Maryland Courts