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Natalie Cunningham

English Block B
Adnans Verdict
From the time Americans were under British rule, the criminal justice
system has played a key role in maintaining order in societies. It provides
innocent citizens with a feeling of security while leaving the criminals living
in fear of being arrested. The expression that is repeated most often about
suspected criminals is, Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. However,
there are flaws within the system and in some cases, suspects are
immediately conceived as guilty through unjust assumptions. The Serial
Podcasts tells the story of a young man, Adnan Syed, who was sent to jail in
1999 for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee. The reporter of the
podcasts, Sarah Koenig, develops a comprehensive analysis on Adnans case
and questions the verity of his verdict. The prosecution had little to no
physical evidence and based their case off the tedious statements off a
witness, Jay Wilds. The detectives failed to have the mindset that Adnan was
innocent until proven guilty which ultimately could have hurt his case.
Despite the years Adnan Syed has spent a convicted felon, he is innocent
and did not kill Hae Min Lee on January 13th, 1999 manifested by a reliable
alibi, inconsistent witnesses and the misuse of the cellphone log.
Adnan can be proven innocent through the memory and credibility of
one important figure: Asia McClain. Asia, a peer of his who attended
Woodland High School, claims that she saw Adnan in the public library the

afternoon that Hae disappeared (source E). Immediately following Adnans

arrest, Asia wrote him two letters stating that she saw him in the afternoon
of the day of the murder and also noted that she would be willing to defend
him if necessary (source E). In an affidavit Asia wrote, she stated that she
saw Adnan in the library between 2:20 and 2:40 on the afternoon Hae was
killed. The police estimated that she was murdered around 2:36 thus making
it impossible for Adnan to commit this crime. Later, two affidavits were
written on behalf of Asia McClain with the latest being from 2015 (source G)
however she was never called at a witness by Adnans lawyer. Additionally,
Asia is a credible witness and had little ties to Adnan or Hae prior to this
case. In her personal letter she stated that she and Adnan arent really close
friends and even spelled his name incorrectly. Adnan Syed is proven
innocent of killing Hae Lee because he has a reliable witness.
The basis of the states case against Adnan Syed was the stories of an
acquaintance, Jay Wilds; however, based on suspicious motives and
inconsistencies with Jays stories, Jay is not a credible witness. Jay can be
seen as a dubious witness because of the pressure and truth the detectives
placed on him. Early in the case, the detectives made a deal with Jay stating
that he would not be held accountable for any crime he committed if he
complied with and aided the police. This could have placed Jay under a lot of
stress to please the detectives and keep himself away from trouble. Further,
Jay is not a credible witness because of the numerous inconsistencies with
his story. It is normal for a witness to remember minute details differently

however Jays discrepancies were quite large. For instance, Jay told the
detectives that he helped shovel Haes grave and later said he did not.
Further, a witness and friend of his, Jen, stated that she saw Jay throw away
the shovels. Jay also declared that Hae was killed by Adnan in a Best Buy
parking lot then changed the location of her death to the public library and
later changed the location to Patapsco State Park. After this state park was
mentioned initially, it was never mentioned again. Throughout the case, he
even said that he is a liar and would lie to get out of trouble. Jay Wilds, the
sole witness for the prosecution, cannot be considered a reliable, respectable
witness due to the repeated lies he told.
Adnan Syed cannot be proven guilty of murder through the evidence
provided but specifically from the unfit cell phone records of that time.
Throughout the case, the only physical evidence the prosecution used was
the location of the cell tower that Adnans cell phone hit at a particular time.
Source D confirms that incoming calls are not accurate to determine the
location of the caller and can range up to miles. This information was either
not shared or pursued by Adnans attorney, thus placing him at an unjust
disadvantage. Another piece of evidence that the prosecution had against
Adnan was a phone call to his friend Nisha in the afternoon that he was
supposedly killing Hae (source A). Nisha most vividly remembers talking to
Jay about the movie store that he worked at although Jay did not begin
working at this store until weeks after this alleged conversation. Lastly, the
cell records were shown to Jay before the testimony which could have

influenced him to alter his story to fit the detectives template. Cell phone
records, at this time, proved to be an unreliable, overused source of evidence
in the case of Adnan Syed.
Everybody is innocent until proven guilty is a principle that every
American should follow; however, some citizens and even people in the law
enforcement do not follow one of Americas most treasured sayings. It is
prevalent through recent news stories about innocent, unarmed people
getting shot and it is prevalent in the Serial Podcasts about Adnan Syed.
Despite overwhelming evidence, and lack of evidence, Adnan was robbed of
a fair, justified trial due to preconceived notions about him. This case and
many others may make you think: could this be me?