The Innocence of Adnan Syed and Why He Didn’t Kill Hae Min Lee

Adnan Syed. A man who is 31 was convicted of first-degree murder at the age of 17 in 1999. He may also be getting a new trial but does he deserve it?

When I first started watching Serial I thought that Adnan was innocent. Throughout this unit, I continued to have the same opinion about him. From what I heard, he was a nice boy who had a very kind personality and was a part of the track team. When people heard that he was “guilty” of Hae’s murder (his previous girlfriend), they were shocked. Even I was shocked after listening to the podcast. He had sounded so nice and even when you see a photo of him (like shown above); it’s hard to see how he could be a potential murderer. Many people will look at Adnan and jump to the conclusion that he is guilty because of his race and culture. These people aren’t looking into his personality, at who he really is as a person. I am not one of those people.

He does have a kind personality and you can tell by listening to him speak. Personally, I think to kill somebody, you must be completely insane and perhaps have something wrong with them. Sometimes people can look and sound crazy and once you know their background, you could think they could be potential murderers or something. Adnan Syed isn’t that type of person though. He was just a normal 17 year old boy and as Andrea Seabrook said, “McClain was ‘the one who says she saw Adnan Syed at the exact same time that the state said he was out committing a murder’”(npr.org). So if Adnan wasn’t at the crime scene when Hae was murdered, then who was? “According to the medical examiner and other forensic pathologists who have reviewed the crime scene pictures and autopsy reports, Lee’s body showed fixed frontal lividity, the phenomenon in which, after death, all the blood pools to the part of the body closest to the ground”(theguardian.com). This was only possible if her body was laid face down for approximately 8-10 hours which means this had happened before she was moved to the park. When listening to the podcast, you hear Jay, Anan’s friend, testify. He often stutters and it seems as though he is making up his story. Adnan must be innocent because the hairs that were found on Hae’s body, did not match Adnan, and neither did the soil samples from his clothes, shoes, car, and room (theguardian.com).

If these samples did not match up to Adnan, then who do they match up with? If there is no piece of Adnan on Hae, then clearly he did not touch her that night. I personally think that Jay did it because his story was inconsistent and he often stuttered. It just seemed a little peculiar to me. When Adnan testified, he was straight forward, consistent, and stuttered rarely. If you know exactly what happened, you are going to say exactly what happened and nothing else. I also think that someone was jealous of Adnan’s lifestyle. He was kind, was on the track team and was just a good person over all. Maybe someone wanted to get revenge on him and make him live a miserable life. Maybe they killed Hae in order to do that and made it look as though Adnan did it. Who knows, but what I do know is that Adnan is not guilty. No one will ever be able to make up for the 14 years he spent in prison. No amount of money will ever be able to replace the damage that has been done to this man.

The reason why I decided to write this assignment in a blog is because it allows my audience to clearly see another perspective on this investigation. A lot of people think Adnan is guilty, but he can’t be! I want people to see it from the innocence perspective which could help change their mind or take things into consideration. A blog also allows me to add pictures and videos to help prove my point so the readers know that I am not making this entire post up. They will be able to watch videos that they may not have seen before to help change their perspective. I am also able to play with fonts and colors which will help make my main points stick out more. Lastly, a blog can help give the readers a different insight because of my opinion, photos and videos. These things will all help in order to give them a different perspective.

To listen to the podcast click :  https://serialpodcast.org/season-one/1/the-alibi

To watch a recent video of Adnan’s case click : http://abcnews.go.com/US/adnan-syed-serial-retrial-decision-looms/story?id=38658329

Works Cited

“The Alibi.” Serial. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2016. <https://serialpodcast.org/season-one/1/the-alibi&gt;.

Chaudry, Rabia. “Adnan Syed Is Innocent. Now Find Hae Min Lee’s Real Killer.” The Guardian. N.p., 6 July 2016. Web. 14 July 2016. <https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/06/adnan-syed-new-trial-hae-min-lee-rabia-choudry&gt;.

Friedersdorf, Conor. “The Backlash against Serial’s-And Why It’s Wrong.” The Atlantic. N.p., 3 Dec. 2014. Web. 14 July 2016. <http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/unpacking-the-social-justice-critique-of-serial/383071/&gt;.

Khan, Mariam. “Adnan Syd of ‘Serial’: What We Know so Far as Retrial Decision Looms.” abc News. N.p., 26 Apr. 2016. Web. 14 July 2016. <http://abcnews.go.com/US/adnan-syed-serial-retrial-decision-looms/story?id=38658329&gt;.

 

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Investigating Hae’s Murder and Analyzing the Podcast

This podcast was very interesting and very intriguing. This particular podcast showed different perspectives which allowed the audience to get a better grasp on this investigation and to form their own opinion on whether or not Syed was guilty. Usually I am not a fan of listening to podcasts for I prefer reading. Sometimes the narrator can be very boring but I found that Sarah was very easy to listen to because of her tone of voice. The only thing I found difficult when analyzing this podcast was that I often had to pause and rewind to catch what was being said. In a book or novel it is easy to mark a page or flip back to see what was being said. Next time I listen to a podcast, I think it would be very advantageous to take notes.

Presenting investigative journalism through a podcast was a very strategic idea. The journalist is able to share their story through speech rather than text. This allows the audience to become more engaged as well as it helps them to form a better opinion. When reading a text, it is common for the reader to make up little voices in their head based on each character. They are able to understand the message through their own eyes and opinions. When listening to Sarah and other characters like Jay, Asia, and Adnan, we as the audience, get to know the actual facts. This is how this person talks, this is their personality and this is how the investigation really is. It allows the reader to go into deeper thought about the story and characters. When you hear Adnan’s and Jay’s voice, you can begin to form an opinion on who’s guilty and who’s innocent. If you were to read what they were saying instead, your opinion may be different.

Adnan Syed was proved to be guilty of Hae’s murder based on Jay’s testimony. According to Sarah, Jay’s story was hard to believe at times for it sometimes changed. Of course it changed. How long ago did it happen? I can barely remember what I did yesterday, how can you expect someone to remember what they did 6 weeks ago at 2:17 pm? No one keeps track of their day to day life especially not that specifically. This issue involving memory is quite concerning because what is going to happen to Adnan? An individual witness can’t be trustworthy because their memory isn’t reliable. A group of witnesses that have the same memory is. In my opinion, I think that Adnan was not guilty of Hae’s murder because he seemed like a really nice guy. I mean, yeah everybody can seem nice but it isn’t just that. He was very consistent when testifying whereas Jay often stuttered which made it seem like he was making things up on the spot. This case should have been dealt with sooner so that witnesses could have been more reliable. Their memory of that day would be more recent. It is really hard for me to believe that Adnan killed Hae who was once his girlfriend mainly because of his kind personality. I think to be a murderer; you need to be absolutely insane. In this case, I think someone was jealous of Syed and to get revenge, they killed Hae Knoing that Adnan would suffer.

 

 

Should ENG4U be a mandatory prerequisite for university? Here are some things to consider…

Hey there! My name is Laura Carleton and I am currently enrolled into a grade 12 university English course for the summer! Why am I doing this? For starters, English is not my strongest subject. I am only interested in it for minor things such as writing about my own opinion and getting to write about what I want. (Literally the only thing I enjoy. Who LOVES writing essays?) Another reason is I want more space in my timetable for my grade 12 year so I can take the courses I need for the university program I want to get into.

“But ENG4U is a mandatory course needed for university”. Yeah it is. But honestly, why?

In my opinion, I think that ENG4U shouldn’t be a mandatory prerequisite for university. I think English should be mandatory up to grade 11 yes, but to HAVE to take English our last year? No, I don’t think it’s necessary. We learn the basics throughout our high school year. How to write an essay, how to properly use grammar, how to analyze novels and stories. In grade 12, it’s just taking it up a notch. Now you may be marked on the amount of “technical” words you use, or the essay you need to write may be longer. Now you will be reading a 700 pg novel rather than 400. It’s stretching your brain and making you think more in my opinion.

Some of us are better at English than others and even though some of us really struggle, we are still required to take it. Some university programs don’t care if your gr.12 Eng credit is applied or academic, as long as you have so and so percentage you can get in. But what is the difference between applied and academic?! (I’ve really only ever taken academic so I actually don’t know lol. If there is a difference plz tell me) I think that the applied English course may be less home work and more in class work and maybe the content isn’t as difficult as the academics. But really, if there is no difference… or even a small difference… how different is it from the grade 11 class? We are still reading, writing essays and poems and analyzing stuff.

The majority of us are using English every day. We speak it, we write it, we read it. In other classes, we are required to write essays and read novels. Do we really need gr.12 English to do that? When we get to university, do we really need to know the gr.12 English curriculum unless we’re going through for English?

I want to be a French and Biology teacher when I graduate from university. I don’t plan on taking any English courses for I think I can manage without. I know I will be required to write essays and novels, but I have learned that already. I won’t be required to have read Macbeth; I will be required to have all my French and biology prerequisites. English majors and minors, and people who want to have a career involving English should be taking all the English credits they can, including ENG4U!

Also, some schools have certain limits in regards to courses a student can choose for their semester. Some classes are only offered once a semester and may be at the same time as English. What if you really need Math because you want to become an accountant but English is at the same time? You have to either drop math and take English, or maybe take it online if it isn’t messing up any of your other courses. It can be a hassle. This is also the reason for many students coming back for a fifth year because they were unable to select the courses they need for University. Without gr.12 English, it would open up ONE spot for those courses. One spot is way better than nothing.

I do think English is important, but I don’t think eng4u should be mandatory in order to get into university. I mean, what do you guys think?