Serial’s Adnan Syed gets retrial due to unreliable cell tower location tracking

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Adnan Syed, the focus of the first Serial podcast back in 2014, has been granted a retrial for the alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Syed's defence lawyers argued in February that his original trial lawyer, Maria Cristina Gutierrez, had failed to cross-examine the state's "cell tower expert" about the reliability of tracking someone's location via cellular network masts. Syed's defence team also presented new evidence, including testimony from Asia McClain, an alibi who said she was chatting with Syed in a library at the time of the crime.

On Thursday, June 30, judge Martin Welch agreed with the defence lawyers and ordered a new trial. In a memo seen by the New York Times, Welch said that Gutierrez failing to question the cell tower expert witness “created a substantial possibility that the result of the trial was fundamentally unreliable.”

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