On Thursday, Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch vacated Syed’s murder conviction, writing in his order that Syed’s attorney at the time rendered “ineffective assistance” by failing to cross-examine the state’s cell tower expert about the reliability of cell tower location evidence.
“This was the biggest hurdle. It’s really hard to get a new trial, and the improbability of all of this — there was a time when this was initially denied,” Syed’s attorney, C. Justin Brown said at a news conference Thursday.
“We are thrilled that after 17 years Adnan is finally getting the justice he deserves,” Rabia Chaudry, a friend of Syed’s who first brought his case to Koenig’s attention, told The Post in an email. “And I’m also thrilled that the world is witnessing the terrible systemic problems in the criminal justice system.”
Brown said he expects the state to appeal the judge’s decision.
Brown said his team will explore whether they can have Syed, who is currently imprisoned in Maryland, released on bail. They have been unable to get in contact with Syed to deliver the news, Brown said, adding, “I have little doubt that someone has given him the news of what happened today.”
“Think of it as the conviction is erased. It’s gone,” Brown said. “So if the state were to retry him, essentially, we would be starting from scratch. The whole trial could potentially start again.”