The 2016 post-conviction hearing for appeal for Adnan Syed nears its end. Rabia Chaudry is barred from being in the courtroom due to a request from the prosecutor. Families on both sides are lined up outside the courthouse, waiting to hear the result. As the viewer too waits, episode three of The Case Against Adnan Syed focuses on possible mistakes made by the police back in 1999. Mistakes that may have put an innocent young man in prison for life.
This chapter in the HBO docuseries focuses on Asia McClain’s affidavit, how Syed’s attorney Christina Gonzalez has failed to contact her, and how prosecutor Kevin Urich distorted what she had said. McClain is able to submit a corrected version in the current proceedings. Following that, half of the episode focuses on the errors made by police in using phone records—a cell phone that seemed to be in Jay Wilds’ possession—and the cell towers the calls pinged off of.
Attorney Susan Simpson brings up the possible assumptions investigators made without deeper knowledge of how cell phone calls work. Moreover, she brings up how recordings are made during the questioning of a possible witness or person of interest, like Wilds. The angle of a story being developed with the assistance of police within that holding room is one that is presented by Simpson in her segment.
Lastly, the episode displays how both the Korean and Pakistani communities are pitted on opposite sides with death of Hae and the trail of Adnan. The Korean community had felt overlooked by their city in past homicides and demanded justice. Meanwhile, the Pakistani community felt that Adnan’s religion and ethnicity was put on trail, at a time when citizens of Middle Eastern background had been dealing with stereotypes for years. The two came to a head over the fates of two high school students who were once in love.
The final chapter of The Case Against Adnan Syed will air next Sunday on HBO. All episodes are available on HBO Now and HBO Go.