The Case Against Adnan Syed (2019) s01e03 Episode Script

Justice Is Arbitrary

1 LAWYER: What piece of evidence was it that led you to Jay Wilds? Cell phone and cell phone records.
MAN: We talked to Jay.
He has the cell phone.
He has the car.
I think Jay knew where the car was the way he knew everything.
The police told him.
JENNIFER PUSATERI: Everything was told to me by someone else.
Everything I knew was like hearsay.
Dear Adnan, I remember chatting with you on January 13.
I was his actual alibi.
MAN 2: What we did is run Jay's name.
We have more than 20 arrests.
NIKISHA HORTON: The police had to basically break the door down.
INTERVIEWER: HORTON: I have a lot of questions.
Hello? NEWSMAN: Eighteen-year-old Hae Min Lee disappeared on January 13th after leaving Woodlawn High School.
On February 9th police found her half-buried body in Baltimore's Leakin Park.
She had been strangled.
Key details they had withheld as they sought out a suspect.
They now have one in custody.
The police suggest the suspect had a motive in the form of a fatal attraction to his victim.
NEWSMAN 2: The subject is identified as Adnan Masud Syed, 17 and a former football player, who is described as an A-student, friendly to everyone.
NEWSMAN: News of Syed's arrest is met with disbelief by the community in Woodlawn.
They can't believe the boy who had so much promise now faces a murder rap.
NIKISHA: This is where his mother had lived towards the end of our relationship.
This was his little neck of the woods.
He was trying to be controlling, and then he had his mother there with him, too, so He told me if I leave with my son, we all have to be together.
Certain situations where he'd get mad, his mother might have him, he'd call his mother, "Oh, well, don't let her get him," and I would call the police, she just wouldn't answer the door.
Little situations like that, and I just didn't want the drama.
After he hit me the first time, in front of my son, I didn't want my son to ever see that.
Right, that Rite Aid up on Edmondson Avenue.
I remember like it was yesterday.
And he went in the Rite Aid thinking he was gonna get a prescription filled for my son, and I just, I left.
I left all whatever stuff my son had at his grandmother's house, I left that and I just never turned back.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) Jay is in California somewhere, far, far away.
He messaged me, like, maybe last year.
I guess just to irk me, and I haven't talked to him since.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) He did say He did say that, but he brushed it off like real quick, no accessory, no "I did this.
" Nothing.
It just makes me feel like, what else is he capable of from the situations that we've been through.
I'm worried about the long haul with my son.
That's why I kind of want to text him, then I'll let you know if he answers.
He might call, maybe like five, ten minutes, he'll text back.
(WOMAN SPEAKS) A little bit, 'cause I feel like sometimes if I know if he lying or just talking crazy, it irritates me, so I gotta be able to calm down a little bit.
- (PHONE RINGS) - Hello? Hey.
Yeah, I'm just trying to stay focused, that's all.
That's all.
Well, I mean, what's going on, dog? That shit is just so crazy, I mean, you could tell that it's cut crazy looking on the outside in, you know what I mean? Yeah, like I'm just, I'm confused, like, why, why, if it was so long ago, why (PHONE BEEPS) He hung up.
- (PHONE CHIMES) - And it was him.
"My service is out.
I'll hit you back.
" He was talking about it, though.
I'm shocked that he's even, like, talking to me so calmly.
- (PHONE RINGS) - Hello? Yeah, I'm here.
I'm listening.
At first he told me that he was there, that, you know, everything that he has stated was true.
And he told you that, but you didn't think that he was serious.
You didn't even freak out when you actually, like, seen it and, like, was at the police and all that stuff? What So what did you do? Like, how did you get off and stuff? And then he broke it down to me and was like, he basically ratted out the guy to get himself out of jail with the police.
Damn, there was a lot of crooked ass-cops back then.
So what? They basically tried to give you the story or you just knew about it 'cause you was there with the guy? But you did have involvement in it, though? All right, just be safe out there.
All right.
All right, bye.
(PHONE BEEPS) He said he got caught with a whole bunch of weed, and, um, it was so much weed they was trying to pin it on him.
So, basically, he ratted the man, gave them a bigger story to get, um, him locked up.
He basically gave them what they wanted to know, so he could get off.
He was saying it so fast and slang, but I don't know, I kind of feel sad for him knowing now, but I know it's probably eating him up just from the conversation.
We haven't talked in years, and he was just so open to just let it out to me, so that says a whole lot.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) No.
No.
By no means.
This is a murder.
There's You're not gonna be an informant.
Murders When you have a murder, they're called witnesses.
Either he's going to be a witness or he's going to be a defendant.
With the information he had, he sat right on the fence.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): At this point in my life, I've given up trying to prove why he lied.
There's some things that I've given up on because I realize, legally speaking, they really don't have any bearing.
And at this point in my life, you know, that's really all that I should be focused on: what legally makes a difference in my case? NEWSMAN: The question throughout this post-conviction hearing has been will Adnan Syed get a new trial on charges that he murdered his ex-girlfriend 17 years ago? NEWSWOMAN: Syed's attorney argued that his lawyer at the time of the conviction made so many mistakes that his conviction should be overturned.
One of those alleged mistakes was failing to contact a potentially key alibi witness, Asia McClain.
The defense team has to show that that witness might've made a difference in Adnan Syed's defense back in 2000.
My presence there is not going to make an impact on what's actually happening in front of the judge, um, and that's what's more important.
So my support is from out here, it's fine.
I can At least I can sit out here and tweet.
So I'm still on the case in my own way.
Asia, from everything I've heard, has made an amazing witness, and I was like, Man, I missed it! 'Cause I really wanted to see her testify, but it's okay.
First time I ever heard Asia's name was, um, when Adnan was convicted and I said to him, I said, you know, in closing arguments the prosecutor said that ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Hae Min Lee left school and within 20 minutes was dead, or something like that.
The State's theory here is that Hae Min Lee left the school with Adnan at 2:15 p.
m.
, and for some reason they went to Best Buy.
He strangled her in the parking lot, and then he called Jay to come pick him up at exactly 2:36 p.
m.
If you could account for your time in that half an hour, that was it.
And he's like, you know, there was this girl who wrote me these letters over a year ago.
And he said, I gave the letters to Cristina Gutierrez, and she told me that I checked with her and her dates were wrong.
He was like, so I never really kind of brought it up again.
That was the end of that.
She was later disbarred, and it all went public like a couple years later that, you know, she had messed up all these clients.
And, you know, we were just horrified.
It explained a lot.
I think in one letter Asia had written her number, a landline, so I called.
It's kind of weird the things that I remember (LAUGHS) and the things that I don't.
I don't remember her calling me to set up the meeting.
RABIA: She was like, I wrote the letters, Adnan didn't write back, his lawyer didn't contact me.
That's the first time I realized that like Gutierrez actually lied to Adnan and said that she had.
And I was like, would you put this in an affidavit? I remember writing that on my front porch, and then we went to have it notarized.
I can't fathom why it still didn't dawn on me that Rabia wanted me to sign this because it was important.
RABIA: What we were facing at that point was direct appeals, which is all about the technical issues.
You cannot raise anything that's considered new evidence.
We had to wait until we could file something called a post-conviction relief petition.
And so by the time we did that, it was like 2010, and Adnan's lawyer, Justin Brown, he hired a private investigator to reach out to Asia to see if she'd be willing to come testify.
ASIA: In my mind the only thing that I could think of was that someone associated with a convicted murderer had tracked me down, and, um, I just wasn't comfortable without knowing the scope of why.
I did find a Baltimore Sun article that referenced Kevin Urick.
JUDGE: Calling at this time the hearing set in the State versus Adnan Syed.
- URICK: Kevin Urick for the State.
- JUDGE: Mr.
Urick.
ASIA: I figured with him being a prosecutor that he would be a reliable source for information, and I gave him a call.
And I actually took notes on the conversation.
I told him that I saw Syed in the library in 1999.
He told me that they had cell phone records and they had a witness that confessed to helping him bury Hae.
And then I wrote down something Urick said to me directly: "If I had any doubt that Adnan didn't kill Hae, "it would be my moral obligation to see that he didn't serve any time.
" Based on what he told me, I felt that the conviction was, you know, airtight, and so I didn't see the need for me to get involved 10 years later.
(GAVEL BANGS) RABIA: I remember sitting there and listen to Urick testify, and it was like being just punched in the gut.
Because it made us all look horrible and it was a total lie.
Did Asia really say this to Urick? ASIA: I never told Urick that I recanted my story, and there were some things that he discussed with me that were just flat-out untrue.
He told me that there was DNA, which there was.
Unfortunately, he neglected to tell me that the DNA was never tested.
Finding that out four years later in a podcast, it was just very disturbing to me.
I swear to the following under penalty of perjury, I did not write the March 1999 letters or the affidavit because of pressure from the Syed family.
My only goal has always been to provide the truth about what I remember.
We could've been doing this years ago, but because of his actions and the way that he talked to me, you know, he convinced me to stay out of it.
Honestly, it pisses me off.
Um, it makes me hate myself for allowing him to manipulate me in that way.
(GAVEL BANGS) (WOMAN SPEAKING) No.
I-I (SIGHS) I feel like if he did care about the truth that he would've met with me before the PCR, like I invited him to.
My attorney made it absolutely clear that I was a hundred percent willing to cooperate with the prosecution as well.
Even after I got done testifying, in press conferences, you know, he demonized me.
I think what's clear to the judge based on the record is that Asia McClain was not a weapon for the defense, she was a potential weakness.
RABIA: She has a lot of scrutiny and a lot people saying horrible things about her.
Just go on Reddit and look up Asia.
"Guilters," we call them.
ASIA: It seemed like it was just a bunch of conspiracy theories.
Being accused of not writing my letters when I wrote them.
They talk about you as being a pig or vile.
It's very hurtful, especially when I wasn't anticipating being a part of this.
SARAH KOENIG: But I think, I think Asia, like you might be that technicality.
ASIA: When I talked to Sarah on the phone, at best, I thought maybe she was going to write an article.
Back then no one knew what a podcast really was, and then to have it go so viral so quick, it was just a very surreal and sickening experience.
I can remember nights where I just cried in the bed.
I just took all of it in, internalized it, and turned it into armor.
KRISTI VINSON: You know, like just something that happened in the past, it doesn't really affect you, but now with how popular Serial was, it's very strange to have people, like, question your memory of things that happened in your life or speculate that you're lying or not lying.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) I think Jenn, because she played such a bigger part, I think it affects her a little more.
JENN: I didn't know that all these stories existed until this Serial thing came out.
I didn't know that Jay told three and four and five different stories to ten different people.
I kept it a little bit more uh, on the wraps.
It was very weird for me that when Serial was airing, it was during a time period in which my, um, dad was very sick and dying.
And having random people come up and ask me about this other traumatic time in my life, that part was upsetting.
But also, it created a space for talking about things with my friends from high school because we didn't talk about it.
Like, who wants to talk about something traumatic? You know, when Serial first started I thought, what is this Sarah lady doing? (LAUGHS) What is she trying to get involved in? And the further we got into it, it became obvious to me why people think that this is a wrongful conviction and why people want to look at this again and find out what really happened.
RABIA: As Serial was ongoing, I was like obsessively watching online like the reaction that people had to it.
I was on Reddit and somebody posted a blog by this attorney, Susan Simpson, and I started reading it.
And she had written I don't know, like 35-40 pages about Jay's police statements.
And I just e-mailed her and I said, you're analyzing this stuff in a way that nobody ever has.
I have all the files and I'd love to give it all to you.
SUSAN SIMPSON: I got the case file from Rabia.
She handed it over to me.
I told her not to.
I'm like this is stupid, you don't know me, 'cause this was very early on.
And she gave it to me anyway, she was like, okay, well, you know, go find stuff in there.
I assumed that Jay was involved in some way.
Um, I felt Adnan might be involved in some way.
I didn't know.
I just knew the story we were hearing didn't make any sense.
GUTIERREZ: Detective, um, Ritz, you had an occasion to interact with a man by the name of Jay Wilds? Yes, ma'am, I did.
Okay, and those interviews took place on the 28th of February? RITZ: Yes, ma'am.
- GUTIERREZ: And on the 15th of March? - RITZ: That is correct.
URICK: What happened that made you want to speak to Mr.
Wilds again? I had obtained cell site information and I wanted to talk to Mr.
Wilds a second time.
MASSEY: Back then that was early stage of us learning what cell tower investigations were.
Back in that day the technology was that the cell phone is finding a tower to ping off of that the call goes to and let's you know the area that that person's phone was in.
The phone that day was with Jay.
So you look at that record and you're like, he was calling so-and-so, he was doing this.
These cops thought the cell phone thing, this was their bible.
This list of towers, they were going to follow that wherever it took them.
In this case it took them on the wrong path.
So the cops are, like, really glad after the first interview.
They've got their star witness, so they've put together a to-do list, very helpful.
Item number five on the to-do list is "cell sites mapped.
" And item six is "interview Jay a second time.
" And they get their maps and they realize that they've got some very big problems because Jay's story is not matching his cell phone records.
The cell site information that we had didn't correspond to his statement at first.
We narrowed the time frames down.
He started to recall things a little better, and, uh, took a second statement.
They get him back in, they fill out a new Miranda waiver.
15:05, 3:05 p.
m.
is when they start talking to him.
Then we get to the recording.
(MACGILLIVARY SPEAKING) So we fast-forwarded in time from three o'clock to 6:20 p.
m.
What did they do for those three hours and 20 minutes? They workshopped that story.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) Well, the most important part of that is that, um, people play with that a lot, meaning non-investigators, um, culturally in Baltimore.
The first story anybody tells you is going to be a lie.
Then when they refine that story, it's going to be less of a lie.
You don't turn on the tape recorder until you've got a statement you want.
I mean, Jay was a teenager, um, a black guy in Baltimore, being interviewed by homicide detectives who are telling him they want him for a murder, and the cops are very good at convincing people that your best bet is to talk yourself out of it, when really all you're doing is talking your way way, way into it.
Ritz and MacGillivary got witnesses to talk in a lot of cases, but the information wasn't always valid.
Detective Ritz absolutely has a track record.
He has been involved in three different cases where there has been either exoneration or a case overturned.
And one of those cases, the Ezra Mable case from 2000, there were two witnesses who identified Ezra Mable as the murderer.
Both of those women later came forward to say that they had been told they were going to be arrested for drug crimes or their kids taken away from them, and that's when they made statements.
Jay says in that second interview he knew what Adnan was going to do.
He was told the night before on the 12th.
(RITZ SPEAKING) (JAY SPEAKING) At that point, they could do whatever they wanted with him.
They could've gotten him for murder in Baltimore City.
They could've sent him to Baltimore County, have him executed.
He was doomed.
My very firmly held theory is that Jay does not know anything, and they helped him develop a story through process, and that's all Jay says.
This is the blob map from AT&T showing Well, they call them coverage areas, but really idealized computer-generated prediction of where each tower is gonna cover.
They tried to have Jay, like, track his story through these little zones.
I would bet dollars to donuts the cops had these maps out there as they're walking through the story.
(JAY SPEAKING) Whenever he forgets the script, forgets what he's supposed to be doing, they're like, no.
- (TAPPING) - JAY: Um, okay SIMPSON: Then we have an incoming call, 12:43, another incoming call at 2:36, and then another incoming call at 3:15.
They gotta use one of those options there to be their come-and-get-me call.
It's Adnan calling Jay to say, - "The bitch is dead.
Come and get me.
" - (JAY SPEAKING) The come-and-get-me call has to be an incoming call, because Adnan didn't have the phone, Jay did.
At trial 2:36 is the one they kind of settle on, because it's the only one that's even remotely plausible.
Unfortunately, they had a really big typo on the cell phone chronology that they used to try and understand Jay's story.
On the 2:36 call, they put down that it was at L-6-5-1-C.
It was actually at L-6-5-1-B.
(PRINTER GRINDING) This is L-6-5-1.
Purple is B.
Jenn's house is about right there.
It's in L-6-5-1-B.
It works perfectly to have the call come in at Jenn's house, but because of the cop's little typo they had that call coming in at L-6-5-1-C, which is the pink area.
He can't be at Jenn's house when this come-and-get-me call comes in from Adnan.
He has to be somewhere farther west.
(JAY SPEAKING) And that's when the come-and-get-me call comes in, when Jay and the phone are conveniently in the territory of L-6-5-1-C.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) KATHLEEN MURPHY: Did there come a point in time when - Jay left your house? - Yes.
MURPHY: Do you remember when that was? Between 3:30-3:45.
He both left to go to Best Buy at 2:36 when the come-and-get-me call, but he also didn't leave Jenn's house until 3:40.
I mean, the story's nonsense because it came from nonsense, and it was multiplied by the cell phone records.
They kept introducing errors they'd have to correct again.
How did I lose the one map I actually needed? A-ha! So there is a road called Dorchester.
There is a Dorchester in Baltimore and there's a Dorchester in Catonsville.
And there's a tower called L-6-5-4 on Dorchester.
Now, it might be Baltimore City, which conveniently is right next to Kristi's house.
In real life, it's on the one in Catonsville, which is up by Jay's house.
Because the cops have their map wrong, they now have to explain why in the middle of the day, about the time when Adnan would be at track practice, Jay is making calls from down near Kristi's house.
(JAY SPEAKING) (MACGILLIVARY SPEAKS) (JAY SPEAKING) (WOMAN SPEAKING) No, he wasn't.
He wasn't He definitely did not leave and go get Adnan and come back.
He definitely came in with Adnan.
It doesn't surprise me that Jay lied about that stuff, 'cause Jay lies about everything, but I can't figure out why, like what the What the purpose is to lie about.
LUKE BRINDLE-KHYM: Jay is in a very tough spot, because you've got the right to representation when you're charged in a criminal case, but that right doesn't trigger until you've been formally charged.
And so we know that Jay pops onto the radar screen of the police, um, in January or February and doesn't get formally charged until September of '99.
That created this strange system where Jay is able to talk to the police, the police are able to talk to Jay, he's not able to get a lawyer to stand in between him and the police.
Kevin was trying to put his case together to make it look as super strong as possible, to try to scare him into pleading guilty.
A lot of times, not all prosecutors, but you have a person who is charged with murder, you have a number of cases, you're trying to just get through your cases and move on.
Having worked on some cases with Mr.
Urick, I think he would probably fall in that category.
He had a lot of cases, um, and he didn't always pay attention to some of those details.
So their whole case, in so many ways, is all about Jay.
BRINDLE-KHYM: All of a sudden on September 7th, the charges are filed.
The prosecutor, Urick, arranged for a lawyer for Jay, Anne Benaroya.
She had her own practice, and she did the case pro bono.
If you're a public defender, you would've taken the case, it wouldn't have been pro bono.
So there's somewhere along the line, someone called in a favor to have her there.
Good morning, Your Honor.
Kevin Urick, for the State.
With the court's permission, I'm adding a case to the docket of State versus Jay Wilds.
Pursuant to a plea agreement the defendant is to enter a plea of guilty to one count of accessory after the fact to murder.
JUDGE MCCURDY: All right, Mr.
Wilds, would you raise your right hand please? BAILIFF: Do you hereby solemnly promise BATES: The decision would've been Mr.
Urick's in terms of what to offer.
He could've easily offered him conspiracy to commit murder, but he gave him accessory after the fact, which is the most you can receive is five years.
BENAROYA: Good morning, Judge McCurdy.
Anne Benaroya on behalf of Jay Wilds.
BATES: And he did the plea in front of Judge McCurdy, who everybody knew, he was very lenient on younger offenders.
So it was almost a too-good-to-be-true type of situation for Jay.
BAILIFF: Please state your name and address.
My name is Jay Wilds, Jay W.
Wilds.
JUDGE MCCURDY: Sir, you agree to plead guilty in this case, and I have to be satisfied that you freely and voluntarily entered into this guilty plea.
How old are you? - I'm 19, sir.
Yes.
- Nineteen? - How much education have you had? - High school diploma.
Other than this plea agreement, has anybody made any threat or promise - to make you plead guilty? - No, sir.
All right, thank you.
I'll accept the plea.
URICK: At this point the defendant should be advised that we can go forward even if he does not appear.
JUDGE MCCURDY: Well, that's true.
I Mr.
Wilds JAY: That doesn't mean that if I do not appear, I get a failure to appear warrant, do I? JUDGE MCCURDY: The thing that you have to understand is if you don't appear for the rest of this case, - I could proceed to the disposition - JAY: Right.
and find and give you up - to the maximum sentence.
- Okay.
JUDGE MCCURDY: Okay, thank you very much.
URICK: Thank you, Your honor.
BATES: Once they had Jay signed up, Jay was going to do and say whatever he needed to do to stay out of jail.
And here they would've definitely needed Jay, because without Jay what do they have? - Do you know how to - KRISTI: Yes, she showed me how to get out of the - Right here? - Yeah, that's good.
That's perfect.
I wish they would've taped me from the very beginning.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) Not, I think you probably would've heard a lot more indecisiveness on my part.
Not "I'm not sure," "I don't know," you know, more like that, than I kind of sound like I have all the answers in that copy.
GUTIERREZ: When that day came up in conversation, did you remember that it was the 13th of January? I don't think I remembered the specific date, no.
Somebody told you that date, did they not? I think it was Detective MacGillivary.
You couldn't tell us whether these events took place on the 13th, for instance, or on the 12th? No, except that I had a conference that day, that's the only other way I know.
So this basically is the winter term from the School of Social Work - that you received for January.
- Mm-hmm.
And these were the classes you were taking.
KRISTI: Right, but this wasn't the conference right? These are just the - the courses I took, right? - Yeah.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) I don't remember.
I don't remember whether I just blew the class off.
So I got a B.
KRISTI: These were only three sessions? (WOMAN SPEAKING) KRISTI: Oh, then I wouldn't have blown it off.
I couldn't have.
They wouldn't I wouldn't have passed.
I wouldn't have been able to skip a winter class.
So it definitely couldn't have happened on the 13th, because I wouldn't have been home at 6:30, watching Judge Judy on the 13th if I had class.
That also concerns me, though, because I believe that Adnan did it.
I believe that those Those events connect.
Him loaning the car to Jay happens on the same date as them coming to my house as the same date as them As Adnan killing Hae as the same day as them going to Leakin Park.
You know what I mean? I believe all that happened on the same day, but if we're (WOMAN SPEAKING) Right.
Right.
(GROANING) I wish that I had a really clear recollection of the 13th and what happened.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): It probably could've happened that day, I don't know one way or the other.
I know I was incredibly high when I was at her apartment.
SIMPSON: Kristi's primary function is to prove that both the cell sites and Jay are reliable.
If Kristi got that date wrong, then either Jay's making the whole thing up or the cell site data doesn't actually reflect where the phone was at the time of the calls.
Her story is that he gets some calls that she describes as like being from a best friend.
You know, well, what am I going to do? What am I going to say? What am I gonna you know, they're gonna come and talk to me.
SIMPSON: But if Jay's story is true, those calls were, like, from the cop.
OFFICER ADCOCK: I spoke to, uh, Mr.
Syed, and he advised me that he did see the victim in school that day.
URICK: I'm going to show you a copy of what's been marked as State's exhibit 34.
- Okay.
- This, for your information, is the defendant's cell phone records for the 13th.
Do you see the time that that incoming call - was received by the cell phone? - 6:24 p.
m.
And what was the duration of the call? Four minutes and 15 seconds.
Is it possible that that's the call you made - to that number that day? - That is correct.
ADNAN (ON PHONE): What happened at trial was they had this white poster board, and it had the cell phone records blown up.
URICK: Cell phone records are computer records maintained by the AT&T wireless corporation, are they not? Correct.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): As people were testifying, they would put like a marker next to a certain phone call.
Jay would say, look, well, this is what we did at such and such time.
- Is that Jenn Pusateri's pager? - Yes, sir.
- Who made that call? - I did, sir.
- On whose cell phone? - Mr.
Syed's.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): Boom, this is the phone call.
JENN: I had got a page from Jay, I was confused, so I called.
MURPHY: What happened when you called that number? Someone answered the phone and said Jay would call me when he was ready for me to come and get him.
He was busy.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): Boom, this is the phone call.
URICK: If somebody were in Leakin Park and received two calls, those calls would indicate the cell site for Leakin Park.
Correct.
That was the State's case.
They said that there were two calls that pinged Leakin Park tower that evening and Adnan was there.
That is what convinced the jury that Adnan was in Leakin Park that evening.
SIMPSON: I've been an associate attorney for a long time, so I have my methods of handling new cases and new case files.
And what I always do is when I get a new case, I go through it and I simple All the communications in order, because the file's always a mess, and you have to figure out who said what when.
When did the cops request this? When did AT&T respond? And I'm like, okay, let's see what this instruction sheet actually says.
How to read "Subscriber Activity" Reports.
"All calls are recorded in Eastern Standard time.
" Good to know.
And it also says, "Outgoing calls only are reliable for location status.
"Any incoming calls will not be considered reliable information for location.
" I asked Rabia, I'm like, hey, so it turns out those calls aren't reliable? And Rabia's like, oh yeah, no one's ever seen that before.
I'm like, really? This is a piece of evidence that nobody even realized existed for all these years.
Every call that they used to show something incriminating is an incoming call.
The only calls linking Adnan to the burial site He says something about, like, "Jay's busy, he'll call you back.
" are the incoming calls.
The only calls linking Adnan to Kristi's place What am I gonna say? What am I gonna You know, they're gonna come and talk to me.
are the incoming calls.
The call that the cops actually had the typo on doesn't even matter because the data itself is unreliable.
The expert they had at the trial His name is Abraham Waranowitz I thought for sure he'd know the answer to this.
So I found him, sent him an e-mail, and just said, "Hey, do you know why the fax cover sheet would say this? Is there a reason incoming calls are less reliable? There was no testimony at trial about this cover sheet, so I'm not sure what significance it has.
" And then I got a very long e-mail from him.
"As an engineer, any analysis I make should use accurate data directly form the source.
" "Since I no longer have those resources available to me, I cannot and should not provide any analysis or speculation.
" "While I love to help people understand complex technical things, this is way too much for me to handle and I wish to remain silent from now on.
Please honor and respect this.
" So we didn't talk for a long time.
Found out later it's because he reached out to Urick to try to get some more information, and Urick basically made him think that something bad would happen to him if he kept talking to me.
But I'm like, you know, I've got a couple more questions.
I'm just going to put them out there, he can ignore it or not.
He didn't ignore it.
We started talking again, and we established that, no, he'd never seen the cover sheet.
So I put him in touch with Adnan's attorney.
"I, Abraham Waranowitz, hereby affirm that the following is true and accurate.
Just prior to my testimony in the courthouse, Urick presented me with a document.
" And all he had been given was like this little list of calls that Urick prepared for him.
He assumed it was engineering data.
It's not.
This was from the billing records system.
"What Urick did not tell me or call my attention to was that AT&T had previously issued the disclaimer that outgoing calls only are reliable for location status.
" This is a way to figure out what to bill people.
All this does is tell AT& can I charge them more because they were off our tower.
Were they roaming? Were they somewhere they shouldn't be for their plan? So they don't actually have a strong incentive to make sure it's right.
"If I had been made aware of this disclaimer, it would have affected my testimony.
" "I would not have affirmed the interpretation of a phone's possible geographical location until I could ascertain the reasons and details for the disclaimer.
" "I do not know why this information was not pointed out to me.
" NEWSMAN: This hearing was only scheduled to be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
Now it seems quite clear it is going to go until next week as Adnan Syed tries to win a new trial.
RABIA: It's going to be over there.
(RABIA SPEAKS ARABIC) The gates will be like OFFICER: I just called my captain, you can be on that corner over there.
- We can? Thank you.
- Yes.
Yes.
- And we can scream? - Yeah, we can say we love you, Adnan.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): When I was getting ready to leave out, there was one guard there, like, look, Syed, this is your whole family and everybody is out there.
They said, look, we're going to give you a moment to stand if you want to wave at them.
- He's coming, guys, he's coming.
- Auntie said that six times so far.
(LAUGHING) I know, I'm sorry guys.
RABIA: I know you're excited, it's okay.
It's okay.
I see him.
I see him.
(CROWD CHEERING) - Hey, Adnan! - We love you, Adnan! SHAMIM: We love you, Adnan! ADNAN (OVER PHONE): I was laughing at my mom.
My mom's crazy.
She was waving, and then Yusuf was there.
And then there was just a bunch of people, right? I wasn't sure what to say, right? So I was like, I'll just greet them.
- Bye, Adnan! - Bye-bye! - RABIA: Was that him? - Knowing that that was him.
- He said, "Assalamualaikum.
" - RABIA: Oh, good! - This was a big one! - (LAUGHTER) Oh my God, it was so loud, you know.
- RABIA: That was great.
- He was happy.
- Good to see you.
- I'm happy to see you, Rabia.
I know.
Oh my God.
RABIA: Adnan's father has pretty much never appeared for any of the post-conviction stuff.
He's worried about the optics of being in court.
If the judge sees this Muslim man with his big old beard, it's going to hurt Adnan's case.
A lot of us believe that that had something to do with the perception of the jury in the trial.
(SPEAKING ARABIC) - How was your day? - (SYED SPEAKS ARABIC) It's good to see you.
YUSUF: Here, come and sit down, I'll tell you how the day went.
I mean, to see Adnan so happy, I wish you could see his face.
He was smiling, and, you know, he was just so happy.
- Today? - Yeah.
Yes.
He was content.
- Yeah, he was very content.
- Smiling.
Do you remember the old cell phone expert? He wrote an affidavit saying that he doesn't stand by his testimony.
We're all going out for dinner, and they invited him so Rabia was telling us, you know, don't talk about the case.
He doesn't like to talk about it.
I introduced myself.
I said, hi, you know, I'm Adnan's brother.
And I introduced him to Mom and then he said, I'm sorry, it's because of me that your brother is in jail.
- He had teary - Yeah, he had tears in his eyes.
Then Rabia started crying.
And I said, no, don't you ever think like that.
It's not your fault.
And it broke my heart because it makes me wonder how many more victims are in this trial.
NEWSWOMAN: While many have cheered Syed's efforts for a new trial, the family of Hae Min Lee have not, saying in a February statement, "It remains hard to see so many run to defend someone who committed a horrible crime, who destroyed our family, who refuses to accept responsibility, when so few are willing to speak up for Hae.
" (SUN HEE LEE SPEAKING KOREAN) DEMONSTRATOR: He's got the whole world In his hands He's got the whole world In his hands (SPEAKING KOREAN) (SUN HEE LEE SPEAKING KOREAN) (POLICE SIRENS BLARING) (PARK KI CHAN SPEAKING KOREAN) (POLICE RADIO CHATTER) (GUNSHOT) NEWSMAN: Four eyewitnesses said this man, Davon Neverdon, held up and then shot and killed this college student, Joel Lee.
But Neverdon was acquitted.
PROTESTERS: We want justice! We want justice! DEMONSTRATOR: Joel Lee died twice by two murderers.
One was Neverdon, and another was the legal system of this country.
(SUN HEE LEE SPEAKING KOREAN) Tonight a community comes together to protest the death of a Korean grocer who was killed at his East Baltimore store.
Immediately following the funeral service, members of the Korean-American community will join a special motorcade around the city.
The hearse will be driven by several of the crime scenes and encircle City Hall.
NEWSMAN: Some of the people in these cars are calling this a protest.
Others are calling it a motorcade.
But no matter what it is called it is meant to send a message.
We feel we're victimized again and again and again.
"Oh sure, arrest me, so what?" What what after then? They they go free.
We want results.
(SPEAKING KOREAN) KRISTA: Sometimes in all the hubbub of the story, I feel like Hae gets lost.
There were so many people who focused so much on Adnan.
And, yes, he's lost a lot, but he's still alive.
People forget that there is a family out there that didn't get to say goodbye, that will never understand what happened to her.
NEWSMAN: Lee's family wants justice, closure to the saddest loss of their lives.
(SPEAKING KOREAN) WOMAN (TRANSLATING): He should get what he deserves for doing this.
It will be difficult, but I will go on.
(SPEAKING KOREAN) My recollection at the initial bail hearing before Judge Hargrove, which was at the district court at Wabash, uh, was that that charging document read, Penalty: Death.
RABIA: The charging document in front of the judge had Adnan's birthday listed incorrectly, the year.
1980, I think, instead of '81.
If you're charged with a capital offense and you're 18, you're not eligible for bail.
You know, that was a huge setback there.
But then we were hopeful that by the time we got to circuit court that that's where we would finally be able to get him out, and, of course, that didn't happen.
JUDGE: State of Maryland vs.
Adnan Syed.
Now this is a petition for relief on the question of bail.
RABIA: You know, Adnan's community, they took buses to go to the bail hearing.
(SUN HEE LEE SPEAKING KOREAN) BATES: I remember I was in the courtroom.
I'd never seen a courtroom that full to capacity.
And what really struck me as odd is there was it was split.
You had individuals from the Asian community, individuals from the Muslim community, depending on whose side you're on, that's where they were sitting.
Would council announce their appearances for the record, please? Vicki Wash and Mark Cohen on behalf of the State.
Christopher Flohr, F-L-O-H-R, for Mr.
Syed, Your Honor.
I remember there just being a real pressure in the room.
DOUGLAS COLBERT: What we're asking for, Your Honor, is that Adnan Syed be given bail unless there are strong reasons to believe, compelling reasons to believe that he's either a flight risk or a danger to the community.
BATES: And whenever you do a bail review, there are two things that judges look at the law.
One, the nature of the charge, are they violent and dangerous? And number two, are they a flight risk? COLBERT: The Syed family is prepared to put up their home, which is where all of their life savings have been invested.
When you put up bail, you have to give them money.
I say, oh, you know, we'll do everything, you know, if they give us bail, so we'll put whatever they want us to.
Beyond that, Judge, there are three people prepared to place as collateral their property.
The community was there to put their houses up.
That's what I really remember, that was amazing to me.
FLOHR: Oftentimes our clients get penalized for not having support, and, of course, that got used against him.
WASH: Your Honor, the fact that the defendant has strong support from the community, that is what makes him unique in this case.
He has the resources of the entire community here, our investigation reveals that the defendant has an uncle in Pakistan and he has indicated that he can make people disappear.
That his ethnicity was brought up, uh, I think that was a big shock.
And that the community was implicated, that they would help him escape was like WASH: The defendant is a member of the Muslim community.
RABIA: People have this idea that, oh, before 9-11 there was no anti-Muslim bigotry and fear.
1999 was already post the Iranian Revolution, World Trade Center had already been hit, we had been involved in Gulf Wars.
There are all kinds of hijackings and stuff, so when I was growing up people used to call me terrorist all the time and this was like in elementary school in the '80s.
- Nobody move! - Sit down! Sit down! RABIA: There's always been stereotypes about Muslims and Islam in the West.
They've always existed.
Now you listen to me.
You're in my country now.
You're my wife, you do as I say.
You understand me? ADNAN (ON PHONE): I can distinctly remember Vicki Wash saying said WASH: There is a pattern in the United States of America where young Pakistan males have been jilted, have committed murder, and have fled to Pakistan, and we have been unable to extradite them back.
ADNAN (ON PHONE): And I remember looking at the judge, the judge just kind of nodded his head like, hmm.
COLBERT: Your Honor, my client was born in Baltimore, he's lived his whole life in Baltimore, and he's a United States citizen.
WASH: It is very easy to go to New York City to the Pakistan Embassy and request a passport, because in order to get paperwork there to stop that from happening, to get them to process it, they are so disorganized.
- COLBERT: Your Honor, may I heard? - JUDGE: No.
Counsel, the court is going to take this matter under advisement.
We'll advise We will notify you in a written form in a very short period of time.
That will conclude this hearing.
- Thank you, Your Honor.
- Thank you, Your Honor.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): I think that it was just opportunity.
They wanted a victory.
They used whatever was available, they threw whatever they could at the wall to see what sticks.
It just so happened that it was me being Muslim.
YUSUF: And this is another thing that makes us angry is that these prosecutors They're not held accountable for the stuff they do.
Prosecutors, that's what people don't always realize there's no one more powerful in the criminal justice system than the prosecutor.
Prosecutors are not normal attorneys.
Their job is not just to their case or their client.
Their job is to do justice, and they don't have an incentive to see that part of their job done, so they fall back into attorney mode, where winning is the only goal.
Why would they change when they are graded and given promotions and raises based on how they do and how many convictions they get? And if they do go too far, it is very, very hard to convince someone and convince the court or a judge that the prosecutor knew they were lying when they did it.
I just find that really disappointing, because in order for us to make sure that the public feels that this is a fair way of resolving differences, then we all have to play fair.
And that doesn't always happen.
NEWSMAN: Just a few minutes ago, Syed's attorneys wrapped up their final argument in the courtroom.
NEWSWOMAN: It's not clear if the judge will make a ruling from the bench or take time to issue a written opinion.
JUSTIN BROWN: You know, this might have been the first ever kind of open-source case.
I had essentially thousands of investigators working for me, and that produced information that we otherwise would not have had.
That helped us get to where we are right now.
RABIA: In 2008, we were looking for a lawyer.
Adnan sent me the names of three or four attorneys, and Justin's name was on this list.
I saw that Justin had been a war reporter in Bosnia, and that really kind of moved me because that means he has been around a Muslim community.
He also said to me, "I believe Adnan's innocent," and that meant a lot to me.
So I said, Adnan, I like this guy.
So we went with him.
(NEWSMAN SPEAKING) BROWN: My guess is that it will be a little quicker than normal.
Last question right here.
I have told my client that as long as he wants me to represent him, I will fight till the bitter end.
Um, if we lose this, I will appeal.
If we lose the appeal, we'll go to Federal court.
I might be 80 years old still litigating this case, but if that's what it takes, I will not give up on Adnan Syed.
All right, thanks a lot.
ADNAN (OVER PHONE): Justin has said he's never gonna stop working on the case.
I mean, you know, that's an amazingly generous thing.
Stuff like that, like, really gives me a lot of strength, because it's like, okay, this is the process, but at least I have this.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) (SIGHS) At the time, I was shocked, because in my head it just How could this even happen and how could the system get it wrong and how could jurors get it wrong? I could've sworn I don't know if it was my imagination or what, but we heard thunder outside when we heard guilty.
(DISTANT THUNDER RUMBLES) (SPEAKING KOREAN) (TYPEWRITER CLACKING) ADNAN (OVER PHONE): To hear what the judge said when I was sentenced, I used to think about it and she said, I manipulated my family and I continue to manipulate people.
I mean, it just seemed like the whole world believed it.
She gave me life for the first degree murder conviction, 30 years for the false imprisonment.
FLOHR: If he gets life plus 30 and then Jay gets zip, essentially, like, that to me cannot be reconciled.
JUDGE MCCURDY: State of Maryland vs.
Jay Wilds.
URICK: Kevin Urick for the State.
BENAROYA: Anne Benaroya on behalf of Mr.
Wilds.
URICK: I will bring to the court's attention that he, uh, fully and satisfactorily complied with every term of the agreement under very difficult circumstances.
And also I would say something I you don't usually see, I think he actually showed remorse.
Generally speaking, it's almost like everybody felt, like, sympathy for Jay.
Um, Ms.
Benaroya, do you wish to be heard? Yes, I do, Your Honor.
Just now in the hallway Mr.
Wilds was weeping.
What he said was the victim in this case, Hae Lee, was a person who had great promise.
And in many ways Mr.
Wilds perceives himself as a person who doesn't have great promise.
The only person who's here for him today is a friend of his, who His friend Stephanie, who had some who's been a friend throughout high school.
JUDGE MCCURDY: Mr.
Wilds, is there anything you want to say before I impose a sentence? Um, just that Whatever you do decide, I would like you to know that I have a real hard time even siting here, 'cause I I feel like people look at me, they think I'm a horrible person and that I'm really sorry for my part in what happened.
JUDGE MCCURDY: Just based on what I've been told, that your, uh, testimony was instrumental in bringing this matter to a just conclusion, or what most people believe to be a just conclusion.
So I'm satisfied that it would be of no benefit whatsoever to incarcerate you as a result of all of this.
I'm going to impose a sentence of five years, suspend all the time served.
Um, two years probation.
Thank you very much.
JENN: I don't know, man.
I can't explain Jay.
I just hate the fact that he lied and told so many different stories that, I mean It just doesn't make sense to me.
I don't know why.
I can only go with the very first story he told me when I picked him up within an hour or two hours of it happening.
To me, that would be the closest to the truth.
Well, that makes sense.
If you told me that on January 12th these events The phone calls happened and that I picked him up on January 12th, then that's what I would say it happened on January You know what I mean? Like, I just know that I never picked Jay up with Adnan from Adnan's car.
Like, those events all happened the same day.
I don't know unless my time was wrong there, I can't I can't tell you unless you have some kind of reference.
SIMPSON: Yeah, this is Kristi's class schedule.
Kristi was in school until nine o'clock on January 13th.
I don't know.
I I don't know, then.
(LAUGHING): I have no idea.
I'm telling you that in my mind, my memory, that's what happened.
It's just one of those things that's like you're involved in that you'll never know the truth.
And it's hard to, I think, come to grips with that you're part of something that you'll really never know the truth about.
Don't matter to me.
I used to care, but now For real, I'm ready to change my name to get out of this shit.
You know what I'm saying? Like, I don't want any fucking thing to do with it.
Period.
Flat out.
I wish I never would've talked to y'all in the first place.
(WOMAN SPEAKING) JENN: I hope not.
I mean, what the fuck? (LAUGHING): Right? I'm not going.
My story's never changed.
I've told everybody the same thing that I believed happened from day one.
If there was something that was gonna close it and we could get a fucking answer, then, hey, I'm all for it.
But I don't see it happening.
So what the fuck is the point? (PHONE BUZZING) Let me see this for a second.
Brown and Nieto.
NEWSWOMAN: Social media is abuzz with Serial fans sounding off about the subject of the Serial podcast.
A judge orders a new trial for Adnan Syed, the Baltimore man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend.
NEWSMAN: In his ruling tonight, the judge said the case represents what he called a unique juncture between the criminal justice system and phenomenally strong public interest.
BROWN: The conviction was vacated, which means it was erased and we won a new trial for Adnan, so (SIGHS) it's been an amazing day.
We won ultimately on the cell tower issue.
The judge said that Cristina Gutierrez was deficient, that she made a mistake by not contacting Asia McClain, but that it wouldn't necessarily have affected the outcome of the trial.
But with the fax cover sheet, if it had been done, it would have affected the outcome.
Now the State's going to appeal.
We'll have to fight to defend the position we're in right now, but the position we are in right now is he does not have a conviction.
He is innocent until proven guilty.
- I'll be back later, okay? - (ONLOOKERS CHEERING) BROWN: From where I was sitting, we kicked ass, and then to have it pay off with a win.
Because I know that the system is not always fair and justice is arbitrary.
(WOMAN SPEAKING OVER PHONE) Yeah, he's still still in jail so there's more work to be done, but, um, we're making progress.
I gotta stop smiling.
It's Phew! MS.
BROWN: She made something for you.
Oh, love bug! Give me a big hug, love.
(GASPING) Did you write your name? Initially it's just this exuberance, and then you start thinking about the family.
They're just stunned and they've been waiting so long and they're probably so exhausted, but obviously they're delighted.
I mean, we're excited, you know, but, like, the body's numb, you know.
It's happened after a long time.
Maybe one day, he'll open the door.
Like he used to say, "Mama, I'm home.
" ADNAN (OVER PHONE): I'm happy, you know what I mean? But I also know there's, like, a huge road ahead.
The reality of this is that anything can still happen.
("BY CHANCE" BY FRALLY PLAYING) Tell me again How do you think it should end? And I'll say what you want me to say Every chance that you take Could be a fatal mistake In every breath that you take There is life and death Tell me again