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Criminal defense lawyers back Syed before Md. high court

FILE - In a Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 file photo, Adnan Syed enters Courthouse East in Baltimore prior to a hearing. The hearing, scheduled to last three days before Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch, is meant to determine whether Syed's conviction will be overturned and case retried.  After spending 16 years in prison, Syed, convicted of murder, who was at the center of the podcast "Serial" has won a new trial in Baltimore. Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch ruled Thursday, June 30, 2016, that Syed deserves another trial because his attorney failed to cross-examine a cell tower expert about the reliability of data.   (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File) WASHINGTON EXAMINER OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT /The Baltimore Sun via AP)  WASHINGTON EXAMINER OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Criminal defense counsel has an ethical duty to contact potential alibi witnesses identified by clients regardless of whether the testimony would fall within the lawyers’ trial strategy, many well-known Maryland defense attorneys argued this week in urging the state’s top court to order the retrial of convicted murderer – and podcast star – Adnan Syed.

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