Defense attorneys push for Supreme Court to take ‘Serial’ suspect’s case

BALTIMORE — Defense attorneys are making another push for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the appeal from imprisoned “Serial” podcast subject Adnan Syed.

The attorneys are again urging justices to find that Syed’s trial lawyer failed him by not calling an alibi witness. They restated this argument in a motion filed last week.

“Every state and federal court to address the question,” they wrote, “has uniformly held that a defendant suffers prejudice when defense counsel fails to investigate evidence that would have rebutted the case actually presented by the state at trial.”

The filing brought the latest salvo in back-and-forth arguments over the fate of the prisoner made famous by the popular true-crime podcast. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has asked the Supreme Court to reject their bid and let stand a state court ruling that keeps Syed locked up.

The 39-year-old Woodlawn man was convicted in 2000 of murdering his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to life in prison. His case drew legions of fans with the hit podcast “Serial” and an HBO series.

With a flood of public support, Syed’s attorneys asked the Supreme Court in August to consider his case.

Syed appealed on grounds that this trial lawyer failed him by not calling the alibi witness Asia McClain. She claimed to have seen Syed in the Woodlawn public library during the time of Hae Min Lee’s murder.

In March, Maryland’s highest court decided Syed does not deserve a new trial after finding his trial lawyer erred, but it wasn’t enough to tank his defense.

His attorneys have asked the Supreme Court to take up the case. More than 7,000 cases are petitioned to the Supreme Court each year, but justices take up only about 2%.