Adnan Syed’s guilt or innocence?

Have you ever felt everything go into slow motion, voices in the background, ears buzzing, heart racing and your eyes glisten with tears unwillingly? How about sitting in a courtroom about to witness the worst day of your life. Imagine placing your life in the hands of a couple of strangers that are paid to prove your innocence. And in the end, they were unable to help you out and you watch as the judge sentences life in prison, for a crime you did not commit. Now people are staring at you, some in shock, others in sympathy, while your family and friends in horror. Welcome to the story of Adnan Syed, the 17-year-old male that was sent to serve a life sentence in prison for the alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend.

To commence, I wanted to make things more detailed and to make my opinion fairer; so I listened to the second part of the podcast, as only taking part one into consideration would not have been reasonable.

I believe that Adnan Syed is insanely innocent and so wrongfully convicted in this case, and I will be listing all the reasons on why the podcast led me to this conclusion.

The first few reasons I have recorded were from the first episode that I had access to from my elearning Ontario course. In summary, the first episode mentioned how well known Adnan was, crowned homecoming prince, on a school team and visits the Mosque often. In short, he was very involved in his school and his community, something that he would not willingly risk losing easily. However, the problem at the time in the episode was Adnan’s memory loss on the day of the murder, which at the time of the interview, happened six weeks ago. This goes back to the experiment that Sarah, who is the voice of the serial, tested where one person out of the many actually remembered the events that unfolded six weeks ago. Which verifies that it is a very mundane action to forget an event that long ago, especially that nothing out of the ordinary took place on that day. Therefore, Adnan should not be blamed for his memory loss, as nothing big could have made him remember it all.

The second episode, which could be found on Serial, a podcast from the creators of This American Life, got more thorough and interesting. The beginning of the episode mentioned how Hae Min Lee possess a diary that she kept up to date until the day before her death, which is the biggest evidence that was used in the case.

The diary was described to be very “teenager like”, meaning not only was it dramatic but very detailed in my opinion. The things revealed about Adnan were not corrupt or wicked enough to send him to jail. Instead, she mentioned how sweet and caring he was, mentioning how much she loves him and how she thinks he is her soulmate. There were entries where she writes how mad she was at him but they ended up to being only minor fights, like every high school relationship.

However, in one entry she explained how tired she was of his religion getting in the way of their relationship. She went into detail how she thought Adnan viewed her as a devil and a sin, however, Adnan later explained how he never knew she felt that way and that it was never a big issue, how she might have misunderstood the situation. He admitted that he was not the perfect Muslim as he drank, went to clubs and had sex, so his religion was not an issue. They did have the need to hide their relationship, as his parents were still strict but not strict in the way that he would be severely punished. As a matter of fact, his mom knew of his actions and used to listen to the phone calls he would have with girls. Which would always result in Adnan telling his mother through the phone that he knew she was on the other end eavesdropping. His family was in reality described as chill with all his teenage actions as everyone goes through that phase. Therefore, his family and religion were not one of the reasons he “murdered” Hae Min Lee as the court likes to believe.

Another case they used against Adnan was the fact that he became very angry after the breakup, resulting in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Although, everyone interviewed explained that Adnan’s aftermath of the breakup was very normal and not at all weird. He admitted to having been upset about it, but then again, it was not their first break up and he agreed with all the reasons on why they had to separate, so they left on good terms. His teacher mentioned how “he was another kid whose heart was broken, but not enough to kill someone”. After his break up by a month, Hae Min moved on with another person named Don. She even admitted to Adnan herself that she had found another person and he was okay with it. She later got in a car accident where Don and Adnan were called, and both ended up helping her out. Later Don admitted to Hae how he saw Adnan as a decent person. Adnan also had his fair share of hookups after the breakup. He was seen with several different girls, which proved that he was over her since after all he was known as the player in the school. Therefore, Adnan proved to be a man that has moved on and was still on good terms with his ex-girlfriend.

Finally, the real issue that made Adnan look bad was the day he asked Hae for a ride home since his car was in the shop. She agreed to it, as they were still friends and told him she will by the end of the day. However, something came up which forced her to turn down his request, not explaining the reason behind her change of heart. Adnan, not thinking much of it told her it was fine and that he would ask someone else. Later that day on January 13, 1999, she disappeared.

Adnan had several officers asking him questions about her, as he was his ex-boyfriend and one of the few who saw her last. One officer wanted to confirm the fact that she told him she could drive him then ended up cancelling on him, in where Adnan confirmed it. However, when a different officer asked him the same question 2 weeks later into her disappearance, he changed his story and said: “No, why would I ask for a ride when I have a car of my own”. Now, this could be a huge misunderstanding, perhaps due to panic and fear. It could be that he changed his story once he realized how bad it looked as he requested for a favour, she declined, and things escalated. Hence, he needed to take himself out of the situation, not realizing that it was a big slip-up.

In conclusion, I still believe Adnan Syed is innocent and the real killer is still out there.



Work Cited

Episode 02: The Breakup. (n.d.). Retrieved January 10, 2018, from

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