Statement on The Release of Adnan Syed After 23 Years


Date published: Fri, 23 September 22

Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Washington DC

ICNA Council for Social Justice welcomes the decision of the Maryland Court System and Baltimore City Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn to vacate the conviction of Adnan Syed. Syed is a member of the Maryland Muslim community, and has spent the past 23 years behind bars on the basis of a conviction that followed a laughable trial. We believe that prosecutors buried evidence, the existence of alternative suspects, and presented unreliable evidence in order to indict Syed, doing a grave injustice not only to him, but to the family of the victim, young Hae Min Lee, who was violently murdered.

It is important to note that this vacancy does not mean that Adnan Syed has been cleared of the crime, but is an admission by the Baltimore City Courts that the original trial did not grant Syed a proper defense or a fair trial as was his constitutional right. As the prosecutors decide whether or not to pursue a retrial in the next 30 days, we hope that they examine the evidence, consider the suspects, and move forward with the intent to do justice for both Adnan Syed, and for the family of the victim.

We offer our prayers to Adnan’s family, and to the family of Hae Min Lee. While one family welcomed their child home after 23 years, the other will not be able to, and we pray for ease, peace, and justice for the sake of that young woman who was taken away too soon.

We await further decisions by the Baltimore City Court, and Maryland prosecutors.