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Serial: Everything You Need to Know about Adnan's New Hearing (Day 2)

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Last week, a new hearing was scheduled for Serial’s Adnan Syed. Proceedings have begun in Baltimore and Sarah Koenig, who got us all so worked up about this story in the first place, was thankfully in attendance. She shared the big takeaways from day 2 (of 3) with producer Dana Chivvis over the phone in a mini Serial update episode. If you missed Day 1, don't worry; I got you coveredThe Baltimore Sun’s Justin Fenton also reported on the day's events. Here's what they had to say:

  • Much of Day 2 involved the State cross-examining Asia McClain, Adnan's potential alibi, who says she saw him at the library during the time frame of Hae Min Lee's murder.
  • The prosecution questioned Asia on her memory of a snow storm the week of the murder and suggested that she was simply thinking of another day altogether.
  • The weather reports from that day confirm that there was no snow, but that there was an ice storm around that time.
  • The prosecution also questioned Asia about two letters she wrote Adnan after his arrest.
  • In the first, written two days after his arrest, Asia writes about visiting Adnan's family to tell them she might be useful as an alibi, considering that she saw him in the library on the day Hae went missing.
  • The prosecution suggested that the phrase "I'll help you account for unaccounted time" was an offer to help Adnan cover up his crime. Asia's response to this theory: "I'm not responsible for what other people might interpret."
  • In the second letter, which is typed and dated the following day, Asia mentions crime scene details, such as the shallow grave and fibers found on Hae's body. The prosecution tried to suggest that, due to that information not being known by the general public at that time, Asia was either being fed information or the letter was written later and was intentionally misdated.
  • Adnan's defense lawyer provided proof that those details were, in fact, out there in reports from The Baltimore Sun before the date on Asia's letter.
  • The prosecution relied on information garnered from an interview with Adnan's friend, Ja'uan Gordon, who allegedly said that Adnan had asked a girl to type up a letter, misdate it, and send it to him. The insinuation is that Adnan engineered this whole alibi thing. Asia asserted that she never talked to Adnan after his arrest and that all the information she had was based on school gossip.
  • One of Sarah Koenig's takeaways was that, in so easily throwing doubt on Asia's testimony, the prosecution is attempting to show that Adnan's initial lawyer Cristina Gutierrez might have realized that Asia was not an iron-clad witness and decided not to use her, not out of negligence, but based on strategy.
  • The latter part of the day focused on a disclaimer that appeared on the phone records back in 1999 that said one shouldn't use incoming calls as evidence because they are not reliable for location status.
  • This is very important because the two phone calls that placed Adnan in the park where Hae's body was found were both incoming.
  • An AT&T expert who testified at the initial trial has since said that he didn't know about that disclaimer and that, as a result, is now no longer sure about his testimony altogether.

Listen to the Serial update:

Update: Day 02, Adnan Syed's Hearing

And read Justin Fenton's full report:

Testimony turns away from alibi witness to cellphone tower data in Adnan Syed hearing


For a breakdown of Day 1 and 3 of the hearing:

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