Adnan Syed Case Evidentiary Guide: 10 Lessons You Should Learn from the “Serial” Case
Evidence is the lifeblood of a case. Failing to develop evidence properly can compromise a case from the outset. Failing to handle evidence properly at trial can ruin an otherwise well-prepared case. The “Serial” case contained a number of damaging evidentiary errors, any one of which, if handled differently, could have changed the outcome. In this free guide, the authors of the Undisclosed podcast examine 10 evidence issues and provide key takeaways.
A gold mine of evidentiary lessons
Maryland v. Syed has become notorious for many complicated reasons, but the State presented a simple, yet seductively modern and compellingly empirical case. The State’s star witness was a confessed accessory after the fact. He testified to helping the defendant bury the victim’s body. Simple enough. The State corroborated his testimony with seemingly faultless technical evidence: cell phone location data.
As you’ll learn from the Evidence Guide the defense missed numerous opportunities to controvert the State’s version of events and to discredit the State’s cell phone evidence. Doing so was by no means beyond the competence of defense counsel or the financial resources of the defendant. So what went wrong?
Common evidentiary mistakes and how to avoid them
The Evidence Guide covers these important topics:
- Stipulating to evidence
- The importance of consulting with experts
- Knowing the record and handling witnesses
- Chain of custody
- Site visits
- Communicating with witnesses
- Objecting effectively and preserving issues
- Objections to closing argument
- Brady material
- Evidence-based ineffective assistance claims
Consider that consulting with experts on two important matters likely would have changed the outcome, specifically when considering cell phone tower “ping” location evidence and the autopsy report’s lividity analysis.
Download the Full Guide
It’s better to learn from the mistakes of others than one’s own. If you’re interested in learning more from the Adnan Syed case, simply fill in the form on this page to download all 10 lessons in the full Maryland v. Syed Evidence Guide.