When Serial host Sarah Koenig saw the news about Adnan Syed being granted a new trial, she was so shocked that she put her hand over her mouth.
Koenig was on Skype with executive producer Julie Snyder when she saw the news.
“Both of us did exactly the same involuntary thing of sucking in our breath and then putting our hands over our mouths,” Koenig said on the Serial website. “We weren’t so much shocked because of the legal arguments, but because it was such a longshot, this outcome.”
Syed was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999, and he was sentenced to life in prison in 2000. Koenig had her first taped conversation with Syed two and a half years ago. In their first conversation, they talked about the judge’s decision to deny Syed’s petition for post-conviction relief.
“At the time, it seemed to me Adnan was spinning optimistic,” Koenig wrote. “Possibly falsely so. I mean, his legal options, by any clear-eyed assessment, were moribund.”
Koenig also acknowledged the statement from Hae Min Lee’s family about the judge’s decision. In a statement, Lee’s family said, “We do not speak as often or as loudly as those who support Adnan Syed, but we care just as much about this case. We continue to grieve.”