By all accounts, season two of the Serial podcast should have been more successful than the first. The subject, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was a national story who already polarized listeners. Instead, the season lost steam quickly and faded from the public consciousness by the time the finale came and went.

The lesson perhaps is that despite being unknown, the subject of season one, Adnan Syed, was a much more fascinating specimen. Because listeners came in with no preconceived notions, they were able to digest the information episode by episode and let that inform whether or not they felt he was innocent of the crimes he was spending his life in prison for.

Regardless of where you stand on that conclusion, it was hard to come away from season one of Serial and think Syed received a fair trial. His own lawyer made questionable decision after questionable decision and the evidence presented against him was, at times, paper thin. Since the airing of the season, lawyers have been working vigorously to get Syed a new trial so that his case could be heard fairly and a Baltimore judge has just granted that wish.

Months after he was granted a new hearing because of new evidence, Adnan Syed, whose 2000 murder conviction was a key focus of the hit podcast Serial, has been granted a new trial, according to his attorneys.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Martin Welch vacated Syed’s conviction, saying in a memorandum that his attorney “fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment” in handling his case.

Syed’s lawyer broke the news via Twitter.

The most powerful reason for the reversal comes from Asia McClain, who claims to have seen Adnan in the library at the time he supposedly murdered Hae Min Lee, and who was never contacted by Syed’s attorney or asked to testify on his behalf.

It won’t be on par with the O.J. Simpson trial, but expect Serial listeners to keep a close watch on the events surrounding and outcome of this new trial. Who knows, perhaps it will end up becoming the focus of a future season of the podcast to complete the circle.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to