Oral arguments in the Syed case are set for the morning of June 9. I have been receiving a lot of questions about how the appeal will proceed. Here are the answers, as best as I can give:
Q: Is the hearing open to the public?
A: Yes. However, there is limited seating capacity. As of now we do not know for sure how the Court will handle the enormous public interest in this case. If you plan on going, get there early. Arguments start at 9 a.m.
Q: What are the possible outcomes of the appeal?
A: Generally speaking, there are three possible outcomes: (1) the Court can grant Syed’s appeal and order a new trial; (2) the Court can order a remand for further fact-finding; or (3) the Court can deny the appeal.
Q: Will the court issue a ruling on June 9?
A: No. The court will listen to arguments and issue an opinion some time in the future. There is no way of knowing exactly when.
Q: Will Adnan be present?
A: No. Unfortunately arrangements are not made for incarcerated defendants to be present at their appeal.
Q: Which Judges will hear the case?
A: There are 15 judges on the Court of Special Appeals. Of those judges, 3 will be selected to handle the Syed case. While the judges will certainly know in advance who will be on the Syed panel, the parties (i.e. the respective lawyers) do not find out until the morning of arguments.