Audiences throughout America have been spellbound by the riveting new podcast Serial, an ongoing weekly audio series that discusses the case of Adnan Syed, a convicted murderer from the state of Maryland. Although the case has long been closed and Adnan is currently serving life in prison, the producers of this popular podcast are daring to ask the question: what if Adnan is innocent, and what are the real facts behind this criminal case? If you have recently found yourself as a chief suspect within a criminal investigation, you likely have many questions about what to expect, what evidence may be used against you, and (most importantly) how you can best prove your innocence. Continue reading to learn more about two things the popular podcast Serial can teach you about your criminal defense case:
Your Alibi is Key
Through episodes of Serial, listeners learned early on that Adnan had an extremely weak alibi. Since he simply couldn't remember the details of what he had been doing that day (was he at track practice, the library, or home?) defense attorneys had a terribly hard time proving his innocence. While there were some witnesses who thought they saw him that day, no one was clear enough on the details to save Adnan from a jail sentence.
Similarly, your alibi is key to getting you out of this sticky situation if you are hoping to avoid a penalty. If you're having a hard time remembering what you were doing on the day of the crime, try to check your text message history to see if you still have messages saved from the day in question. Seeing a certain message from the date may jog your memory on where you were when it was sent. Additionally, don't be afraid to ask friends and family members about your whereabouts on the day of the crime-- they may remember better than you can.
Your Location Could Help or Hurt You
During Adnan's case, prosecutors were able to use cell phone tower pings to try to prove that he was guilty of the murder. By looking at cell phone records and determining what specific cell towers were pinged during a call, investigators could show a general location that the caller would have had to be located in order to place that call.
Although cell phone tower pinging is not an exact science, it can certainly help you in your case if your memory for an alibi fails. Talking to your defense attorney about checking into your cell phone records could potentially show the jury that you were nowhere near the scene of the crime on the date it occurred. For example, if the scene of the crime happened 100 miles from a location that you placed a call from, you have strong evidence that you weren't present--and therefore, not guilty.
Remember to discuss any ideas you have with your defense attorney--they know the law and have enough experience to be able to help you navigate the sometimes convoluted waters. For more information, contact Sharkey Gregory V Attorney or a similar legal professional.