Popular podcast "Serial" may not have been able to draw any hard conclusions about the guilt or innocence of convicted murderer Adnan Syed last month, but the Maryland court system may have to.
Fifteen years after Syed was convicted in the murder of his high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in Baltimore, the podcast that took a critical look at the facts of the case might not have cracked the case, but it might have reopened it.
The Daily Dot confirmed this week that advocates for Syed have launched a petition on Change.org to give Syed's trail a do-over with a new trial. And Time Magazine reported that the main "Serial" player — Dierdre Enright of the Innocence Project, who fans remember told "Serial" host Sarah Koenig she "wasn't lucky enough" for Syed to be a "charming sociopath" — plans to file a petition to have untested DNA evidence for Lee's body analyzed.
Enright said she would petition the court regardless of whether the Maryland Court of Special Appeals accepts or rejects Syed's request for appeal.
Since the finale of its first season in December, "Serial" has come under some fire, especially for Koenig's ending, which (spoiler alert) managed to straddle the middle ground, neither proclaiming Syed's clear guilt or innocence, nor assigning blame for flaws in the legal process Koenig hinted might have contributed to Syed's conviction.
New York attorney Josie Duffy called Koenig's reporting "shoddy" in Gawker, saying she was disappointed that Koenig didn't pay more attention to the role racism may have played in Syed's conviction.
"More than half of young black men in (Baltimore) were in the criminal justice system — if they weren't incarcerated, they were on probation or parole," Duffy argued. "And it matters because Koenig doesn't seem to know it."
Whether or not Koenig was able to take all the factors that may or may not have tainted Syed's trial, as Business Insider reported, "Serial" didn't just do Syed a favor — it performed a public service.
"By questioning the validity of some criminal justice procedures and educating its listeners to ask questions, especially when someone's life is on the line, the podcast has done a great public service: Because the case of Adnan Syed is not particularly unique," Business Insider's Cassandra Stubbs wrote.