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A conviction is a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense, made by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law. In February of 2000, 17 year old Adnan Syed was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years. Adnan Syed was a 17 year old boy attending Woodlawn High School in Baltimore, Maryland. He was tried and convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee.
Was Adnan Syed wrongfully convicted or did actually commit the murder? The courts had no physical evidence linking Adnan to the crime scene and a classmate of Adnan, Asia McClain, provided an alibi for him. Without the courts having any physical evidence to connect Adnan to the crime; they relied solely on the testimony of Jay Wilds. Jay’s testimony changed every time it was told, therefore making him a non-credible source. Since Jay’s testimony was not completely credible; I believe that Adnan was wrongfully convicted for a crime he did not commit.
The day Hae Lee was murdered, Asia McClain, a classmate of Adnan, remembers seeing and talking to him in the library. According to Serial (2014) Asia McClain tells Sarah Koenig, the host of the podcast, that she remembers seeing Adnan around 2:30 that day, yet she was never contacted by his lawyer during the trial. Sarah tells Asia that the time she’s saying she saw him at the library is also the same time “they’re saying he was in the car with her” right before she was murdered” (Koenig, Serial, Eps. 1). Something is not adding up if Asia is saying she saw him and talked to him at that time, while the state is saying that’s when she was murdered. According to Serial (2014) Sarah tells Asia “If you’re saying that you saw him on this say at that time, that means the state’s timeline for their whole theory of the case doesn’t make any sense.” If Asia says that she saw Adnan at the time he supposedly killed Hae, then that automatically rules him out. With Asia establishing Adnan’s presence anywhere near the crime scene; there’s no way possible that he should have been convicted of her murder. Since Adnan was not present at the scene of the murder, and he had an alibi the he was falsely convicted.
Those who believe that Adnan got the conviction he deserved, may say that Jay’s testimony was enough to help convict Adnan. Jay Wilds, an acquaintance of Adnan, tells detectives that Adnan told him about his plan to kill Hae. He tells detectives that Adnan had told him he was going to kill Hae, but Jay did not think much of it. According to Jay, Adnan left his cellphone and car with Jay so Jay could pick him up after he killed Hae. He says that Adnan calls him from a phone booth outside of Best Buy. That’s not possible because when Sarah Koenig and Dana Chivvis went to go look for the phone booth, they did not find one. In fact they even looked at the blueprints for the store and there is no phone booth anywhere on it. In the podcast, Serial, “They dug up a photo of the store, from 2001, no phone booth or payphone….They looked up the blueprints for the store when it was built in 1995, nothing” (Koenig, Serial, Eps. 5). If there was no phone booth, how would Adnan have been able to call Jay to pick him up? Another flaw in this argument is that Jay’s story is inconsistent; it changes every time he tells it. When he first tells detectives what happened the day Hae was murdered, he says that he helps Adnan bury Hae. Later on when he retells his story, he tells detectives that he was not with Adnan at all when he buried Hae. If Jay’s story is inconsistent, then he’s not exactly credible. The jury used a non-credible source, Jay Wilds, to convict Adnan. Adnan should not have been convicted from a testimony that is not even credible.
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