Sammy Nickalls
February 10, 2016 10:57 am
St. Martin’s Press

Last week, after 15 years, Adnan Syed’s post-conviction hearings took place for five days. That’s right — he was finally given a chance to prove his innocence, and Serial fans have been hungrily devouring Sarah Koenig’s updates. And Syed is determined like never before.

“I think he is more hopeful than I have seen him since I first met him seven years ago,” said Syed’s attorney C. Justin Brown after the end of the hearing, according to People.

Syed’s younger brother, Yusuf, agreed. “I could see it on his face when he looked back at me and smiled,” he told People. “It makes me feel even more hopeful.”

Retired judge Martin Welch will be deciding whether the new evidence presented at court is enough for a new trial for Syed. It’s unknown how long it will take for Welch to make a decision, but Syed’s statement on the matter makes it clear that he will never give up. “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to present new evidence before the court,” he wrote in the statement that was read aloud by Brown on Tuesday. “I intend to keep fighting to prove my innocence.”

During the trial, questions were raised about the reliability of the cell tower data used to incriminate Syed back in 2000, and alibi witness Asia McClain — who did not testify in previous trials — spoke in Syed’s defense. “All this time I thought the courts proved it was Adnan that killed her,” McClain told Koenig during the first episode of the podcast. “I thought he was where he deserved to be. Now I’m not so sure.”

Brown tells People that if it weren’t for Serial, this new hearing may not have been a possibility. “As a result of Serial, more information became available to us, more information than we otherwise may not have gotten,” he said. “This might have been the first ever open source case. All the materials from the case are out there and people from all over the country are investigating this case, I had thousands of investigators all over the country helping us.”

Only time will tell what Welch will decide — and thus, what lies in store for Syed — but one thing’s for sure: He’s not giving up without a fight.

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