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Family of Hae Min Lee appeals to Maryland Supreme Court in Adnan Syed case

Family of Hae Min Lee appeals to Maryland Supreme Court in Adnan Syed case
Family of Hae Min Lee appeals to Maryland Supreme Court in Adnan Syed case 00:46

BALTIMORE -- The family of Hae Min Lee on Thursday called on the Maryland Supreme Court to hear their appeal in the murder case of Adnan Syed, challenging a lower court's decision on victims' rights. 

The Appellate Court of Maryland reinstated Syed's conviction in March after the Lee family filed an appeal saying their rights were violated because they weren't given the opportunity to attend the 2022 vacatur hearing that led to Syed's release. 

The appeal centered around the short notice Lee's brother, Young Lee, received ahead of the hearing in which Lee's ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed's murder conviction was overturned. 

While the Lee family's initial appeal went largely in their favor, a filing Thursday takes issue with one aspect of the Appellate Court's decision. 

Young Lee asks the state's highest court to rule that "crime victims in Maryland have a right to be heard and challenge the evidence in vacatur hearings," like the one that vacated Syed's conviction.

"The Maryland Declaration of Rights requires that state agents treat crime victims with dignity, respect and sensitivity," Lee family counsel David Sanford said in a statement. "That right to dignity means here that Young Lee should have the right to meaningfully participate in a hearing that could potentially vacate a murder conviction.  That is all we ask and we expect the Maryland Supreme Court to resolve this issue once and for all."

Syed's representatives have previously rebuked the family's argument for victims' rights, saying the issues would impede the state's authority over unjust convictions. 

"Beyond the import of these proceedings to Adnan and his family, the issues raised have broader implications for our entire legal system, most notably the authority of the State to dismiss a case, the role of victims' representatives in proceedings to redress unjust convictions, and the restrictions placed on judges' discretion to utilize remote communication services like Zoom," attorney Erica Suter said in March

Syed's case gained international attention when it was featured on the podcast "Serial," which raised questions about his prosecution. 

He was released from prison in September of 2022 after serving more than 20 years for the murder of his Woodlawn High School classmate and ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee.  

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