Serial news
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Hello Everyone!

It’s Sarah K. here. We have information for you about our upcoming seasons of Serial.  

But first, some news from the Season One story: There’s been a legal development in Adnan Syed’s case. In an unusual move last week, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals remanded part of Adnan's case back to circuit court. Back in 2013, the circuit court had denied Adnan’s post-conviction petition, in which he claimed ineffective assistance of counsel based largely on the argument that his attorney, Cristina Gutierrez, failed to pursue - or even contact - Asia McClain as an alibi witness.  

Adnan appealed the circuit court’s decision to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, and was due to have a hearing next month.  But last week, the Court of Special Appeals essentially paused the case, saying that Adnan can ask the circuit court to re-open his post-conviction proceeding so he can present a new statement from Asia.  In January of this year, after Serial finished airing, Asia reiterated in an affidavit that she’d seen Adnan at the public library on the day Hae Min Lee went missing in 1999.  And she also stated that Kevin Urick, a prosecutor, had discouraged her from testifying at Adnan’s post-conviction hearing. “Urick convinced me into believing that I should not participate in any ongoing proceedings,” Asia says in the affidavit.  

The appeals court’s order does not mean Adnan will get a new trial. Nor does it mean that the circuit has to agree to hear Asia’s testimony. But with this order, the appeals court has certainly cracked open a door. And anytime a court opens a door to new testimony – new fact-finding – that’s a big deal for the appellee. In other words, good news for Adnan. It’s likely that once the Asia issue gets sorted out in circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals will take up the case again.

What’s hard to know is whether all the outside attention to even the smallest wrinkles in Adnan’s case has influenced the Court of Special Appeals to take this unusual step. I really hate to speculate about why a court makes any particular ruling. I don’t presume to know the judges’ minds, or ascribe extra-judicial motives to their rulings. But clearly the appellate judges are aware the public is watching, and while I don’t imagine they’d order anything they didn’t think was just, I do think it’s possible that they’re being extra careful to make this process as transparent as they can, so that the public will fully understand their ultimate decision.

Second: The American Bar Association has awarded the first season of Serial its 2015 Silver Gavel award recognizing “outstanding work in media and the arts that fosters the American public’s understanding of law and the legal system.” We’re very grateful for this honor. 

Third: we are hard at work reporting not one, but two distinct new stories. This means we’re planning on a third season of Serial. And we hope it means we can reduce the amount of time between the end of Season Two and the beginning of Season Three. As it stands, we intend to launch Season Two this fall and Season Three next spring. Sorry - we can’t tell you details about the new stories yet. What we can say is that they’re very different from Season One, but no less interesting to us.

Serial is coming to a city near you!  

Well, hopefully you live near: Washington, D.C., Hartford, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Cleveland or New York.

Come see Julie Snyder and me talk about making the first season of Serial live on stage.  We talk about the challenges of the reporting, how we designed the show, play behind-the-scenes tape and tell you what it was like to suddenly be in the national spotlight (it was nuts).  

Upcoming dates:
Saturday, June 6, 2015 |  Vienna, VA: Wolf Trap. Evening lecture with Sarah and Julie.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | Hartford, CT: The Bushnell Theatre.  Evening lecture with Sarah and Julie.

Saturday, August 1, 2015 | Austin, TX: Long Center. Evening lecture with Sarah.
Sunday, August 2, 2015 | Fort Worth, TX: Podcast Movement 2015. Evening lecture with Sarah.
Monday, August 3, 2015 | Dallas, TX: AT&T Performing Arts Center. Evening lecture with Sarah.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 | Cleveland, OH: Writers Center Stage Series.  Evening lecture with Sarah and Julie.
Friday, September 25, 2015 | Brooklyn, NY: BAM. Evening lecture with Sarah and Julie.

That's our news for now. As always, thank you for your continued interest in, and support of, Serial

Sincerely, Sarah K. and the Serial Team


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