Criminal Defense Attorneys File Petition for U.S. Supreme Court to Review Adnan Syed’s Case for The Sake of Defendants’ Rights Around the Country
The US Supreme Court was recently petitioned to review the case and of Adnan Syed, the subject of the popular podcast “Serial”. According to a number of criminal defense attorneys, not only was Syed (the defendant) not provided with proper representation when it came to investigating unbiased credible alibi witnesses, but the recent decision to deny him a new trial and reinstate his conviction will negatively impact criminal defendants – and habeas petitioners – around the country, and uproots well-established, uniform legal precedent. The appeals court ruled that although the initial trial was deficient because Syed’s attorney failed to follow up with alibi witnesses, he would not be granted a new trial because the evidence against him was still strong and he had not been prejudiced.
The Issue of Prejudice & Uniform, Clearly Established Legal Precedent
According to the amicus brief filed, the Maryland Court of Appeals’ decision is the first to hold that the defendant’s attorney’s failure to investigate a credible and unbiased alibi witness is not prejudicial to the defendant. In fact, state and federal courts across the country have found prejudice in these circumstances; even when the government introduced strong evidence that rendered the testimony from the credible alibi arguably weak in the case. In fact, existing case law dictates that the loss of a potential credible alibi witness is so strong that even an extremely strong government case cannot overcome the existence of prejudice, resulting in habeas petitioners prevailing in seeking habeas relief in these circumstances.
As a result, there is no question that the Court of Appeals’ decision calls into question well-established legal precedent, which will have significant impacts on a number of other criminal defendants around the country. Once that a defendant shows that their counsel’s actions fell outside of the “range of professionally competent assistance,” they must simply show that there is a “reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different,” not that they would not have been convicted. In other words, it is simply a probability “sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome.” Here, the Maryland Court of Appeals already agreed that the defendant attorney’s conduct fell outside the range of professionally competent assistance, which is sufficient.
Contact Our Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys to Protect Against Wrongful Conviction
Being granted a new trial – and especially a review from the US Supreme Court – is extremely difficult: of the more than 7,000 cases petitioned to the Court each year, it takes up an average of only two percent. The best way to ensure that you are not wrongfully convicted is to work with a demonstrated Orlando criminal attorney from the get-go. Contact The Baez Law Firm today to find out more about our criminal defense services.