Georgetown hires Adnan Syed after his murder conviction was tossed

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A year ago, Adnan Syed was serving a life sentence for murder and was about to start classes at Georgetown University in a Maryland prison.

The 41-year-old man has now been released after a court reversed his murder conviction. Prosecutors dropped the case and said Saeed had “no involvement” in the killing.

And in yet another twist on the saga, published in 2014 on the true-crime podcast “Serial,” Syed got a full-time job in Georgetown as a program associate for the university’s Prisons and Justice Initiative. Its programs include education and training for incarcerated individuals and those released from prison.

Said reportedly will work on December 12, according to the initiative’s director, Mark M. Howard.

One of Syed’s roles is to provide research and other support for a hands-on undergraduate class called “Making an Exoneree”. In this class, students examine decades-old beliefs and try to free innocent people from prison by making a short documentary about the incident.

“We couldn’t have had a better script,” Howard said Thursday. He said Said was unavailable for an interview.

Syed recently came to Georgetown to see campus for the first time after taking a class earlier this year at Jessup’s Patuxent Institution.

“Being on campus from prison to becoming a student at Georgetown and actually working for Georgetown in prison and justice initiatives is a moment of perfect circles. The college initiative has changed my life” ‘ he said. “It changed my family’s life. I hope it can have a similar impact on others.”

Syed was convicted in 2000 of murdering his ex-girlfriend, 18-year-old Hae Min Lee. Prosecutors said Lee died from strangulation. He continued to maintain his innocence, and his case received widespread attention through a podcast.

In September, the city of Baltimore’s state attorney’s office said in a petition in circuit court that it had lost faith in Said’s conviction and identified other possible suspects. Syed was released when a judge reversed his conviction after discovering that the way he had previously presented evidence to defense counsel was flawed. Said was photographed leaving the courthouse on Sept. 19 holding a binder with a Georgetown Bulldog sticker on it. That included a final exam for a statistics class.

In October, prosecutors dropped the criminal case against Saeed, saying he was convicted of murder. After a new forensic examination of the evidence found no trace of Syed’s DNA, prosecutors said they did not intend to continue pursuing a case against Syed.

Lee’s family has been critical of the decision to drop charges and are seeking answers regarding Lee’s death. The Lee family’s attorney, Steve Kelly, argued that the family was not given the opportunity to meaningfully participate in court hearings when Saeed’s conviction was dismissed.

In a statement, Kelly said she applauded Sayid’s efforts to improve himself by earning a degree, but as a Georgetown University alumnus, “Mr. “I was appalled that I was considered an ‘exempt person’ based on a deeply flawed process of disclosure.” His family had no say and no evidence of actual innocence was presented. ”

“It is premature at best to hire Said at this point, and I am deeply concerned that Georgetown places celebrity values ​​above the Jesuit values ​​that made the school what it is today.” Kelly said.

The Lee family recently requested an appeals court hearing to consider the evidence supporting their decision to vacate Sayid’s conviction. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is scheduled to hold a hearing in early February.

Howard said there was no doubt about Sayid’s innocence or credentials. “I am delighted that he has been exonerated and that the prison and judicial initiatives have welcomed him,” he said in a statement. “He is the most resilient and inspiring person I have ever met.” He is one of those people who gives a lot to our team and other students in the PJI program.”

Meanwhile, Sayid is focused on his job and wants to continue his bachelor’s degree, Howard said. In prison, Sayid attended Georgetown University where he completed two semesters. Earlier this month, she was a keynote speaker at an event held by the University of Washington to celebrate the educational program in her DC prison.

“He was so powerful, so inspiring,” Howard said. “He talked about his own experiences and how his education gave him hope.”

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