Adnan Syed Has a Job at Georgetown University

He's working with a program that includes reinvestigating wrongful convictions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2022 7:58 AM CST
Adnan Syed Has a Job at Georgetown University
Adnan Syed, center right, leaves the courthouse carrying a Georgetown folder after he was freed on Sept. 19, 2022, in Baltimore.   (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File)

Any thoughts Adnan Syed had of college were derailed in 1999, when the then-17-year-old was accused of murdering former girlfriend Hae Ming Lee, a crime he was wrongfully convicted of. Just a year ago he became a Georgetown University student while still incarcerated. Now, three months after his conviction was overturned, he has a job at the Washington, DC, university, working with a program that includes a class in which students reinvestigate decades-old wrongful convictions, the New York Times reports. The 41-year-old, who spent 23 years in prison before his release in September, has been hired as a program associate for Georgetown's Prisons and Justice Initiative, which offers programs for incarcerated and previously incarcerated people in the DC area, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Georgetown says the program "addresses the root causes and consequences of mass incarceration and offers educational programs and training for incarcerated individuals and returning citizens." The university says its "Making an Exoneree" class, which Syed will work with, tasks students with looking at wrongful convictions; they "create short documentaries about the cases and work to help bring innocent people home from prison." Last year, Syed became part of Georgetown's inaugural bachelor’s degree program for incarcerated students. On his second day on the job this month, he addressed the Prison Scholars’ end-of-semester celebration at the DC Jail.

"To go from prison to being a Georgetown student and then to actually be on campus on a pathway to work for Georgetown at the Prisons and Justice Initiative, it’s a full circle moment,” Syed said in a statement. "PJI changed my life. It changed my family’s life. Hopefully I can have the same kind of impact on others." Syed, whose case was made famous by the Serial podcast, was released in September after prosecutors said they no longer had faith in his conviction. Weeks later, all charges against him were dropped when DNA testing on items including Lee's clothing and shoes ruled him out as a suspect. (More Adnan Syed stories.)

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