Monday, December 22, 2014
Over the past couple of months, I've posted 32 entries about the about Sarah Koenig's Serial Podcast, which deals with the 1999 prosecution of 17 year-old Adnan Syed for murdering his ex-girlfriend, 18 year-old Hae Min Lee, on January 13, 1999. The purpose of these posts was to create a legal companion to the podcast so that listeners interested in the legal issues raised by the podcast would have some answers. This post collects and categorizes each of those posts.
Before getting to my compendium of posts, I would like to restate the limitations of this project. Each of my posts is reliant on publicly available sources: the Serial Podcast itself, the Brief of Appellee (the government's appellate brief), the Brief of Appellant (Adnan's appellate brief), the timeline of Adnan's case and appeals from a Maryland Judiciary Case search, and interviews, transcripts, and notes posted on Split The Moon (the blog maintained by Rabia Chaudry, an attorney and the sister of Adnan's best friend).
This creates a few issues. First, there could be errors in some of these documents. For instance, many have claimed that there are errors in the appellate briefs. Second, I only have access to certain interviews, transcripts, and notes presented on the Serial Podcast and Split The Moon. Moreover, I sometimes only have snippets of these interviews, transcripts, and notes. If and when the full trial transcripts become available, certain statements might be put in different contexts/lights, and other evidence might emerge that changes my opinions regarding guilt and innocence. Third, because of some gaps in evidence, I sometimes have to make certain assumptions, such as the assumptions about what happened when Jay questioned his plea deal and went before Judge McCurdy. These opinions are, of course, simply opinions and not statements of fact.
So, having laid out those caveats, here is my legal companion to the Serial Podcast.
Legal Companion to the Serial Podcast
Episode 1: "The Albi"
Episode 2: "The Breakup"
•The Serial Podcast & the Admission of Hae Min Lee's 62 Page Diary at Adnan Syed's Murder Trial (written before listening to the podcasts, but deals with the diary mentioned in episode 2)
•The Serial Podcast, Take 2: The Erroneous Admission of Hae Min Lee's Letter About Adnan Syed's State of Mind (written before listening to the podcasts, but deals with the letter mentioned in episode 2)
Episode 3: "Leakin Park"
Episode 4: "Inconsistencies"
Episode 5: "Route Talk"
Episode 6: "The Case Against Adnan Syed"
•The Serial Podcast, Take 3: The Notes on the Back of Hae Min Lee's Letter (written before listening to the podcasts, but deals with the notes mentioned in episode 6)
Episode 7: "The Opposite of Prosecution"
Episode 8: "The Deal With Jay"
Episode 9: "To Be Suspected"
Episode 10: "The Best Defense is a Good Defense"
•The Serial Podcast, Take 4: Did the Prosecution Violate the Brady Doctrine in Connection With Jay's Plea Deal? (written before listening to the podcasts)
Episode 11: "Rumors"
Episode 12: "What We Know"