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Reparations Won’t Restore Time

There are new developments in the Adnan Syed case that have come out. Now it is looking like no matter what they initially thought, Maryland is going to have to #FreeAdnan. I’m happy about it, truly. As happy as anyone can be when justice seems like it might prevail. It’s so rare for us to get that kind of closure in real life; usually we have jagged shards of a story we have to make do with. What I’m curious to know is what kind of reparation does MD intend to give to this man, what compensation can be given to restore time, the true un-renewable resource? Somehow I can see it like it has happened for so many other people who have shared his fate: a lame apology and a financial settlement that is nowhere close to touching what the falsely imprisoned have suffered.

Will money bring back Adnan’s chance to go to school, to make his family and community proud? Will it give him the chance to enjoy the irresponsibility of his twenties, that lingering between childhood and adulthood before he realizes he has to begin to put down roots? Can it give him the chance to make stupid mistakes and have close calls, near misses and second chances? Will it give him the chance to develop the compassion for the elderly that led him to become an EMT? Will it rejuvenate his faith in his fellow-man? Friends who turned away from him may apologize, might try to start again, but will a dollar amount be ascribed to the agony of watching them walk away one by one?

Can an apology give him the glow from a youthful love affair? Will it help him remember how to drive? Can it wipe the memories of the horrors he surely was exposed to in prison? Could it break the shell of hardness he must have developed to survive such an ordeal? What about the pain of leaving friends he has known for his entire adult life, knowing the hell he leaves them to? Will anything take away the exposure to a world of which he should never have been familiar? Is Maryland going to help him work his way through being institutionalized? Are they going to put a price tag on his mother’s tears? Preposterous.

Maryland has taken something from Adnan Syed for which an apology will not be sufficient. They have ruined something no money can replace. They should come on bended knees to make amends. They should beg not only his forgiveness but the forgiveness of his entire family, the Baltimore Islamic Society, and indeed the nation at large for ever allowing such a grace injustice to occur on their watch. In order to even begin to touch a fraction of what this man is owed, Maryland needs to blow the top off this whole case. Make real amends. Hold someone responsible for this, whether it be Urick, the police, Christina Guitierrez or any combination that will suffice. The state of Maryland must set a precedent for all states to show that the sloppy detective work and the discriminatory prosecutions leading to these wrongful convictions will no longer be tolerated. Maryland: take the first step toward reparation for a terrible deed. ?#FREEADNAN.

Until next time,

4 thoughts on “Reparations Won’t Restore Time

  1. Can you elaborate on why the state will be forced to free Adnan? Are you privy to information that the rest of us do not have, or is this just your opinion based on all of the data/discussion that has been generated by and since Serial? And while I agree that Adnan and all those who love him have been robbed by his unjust imprisonment, it seems to me, someone distant, that he has grown in such a way that even in the prison environment he is respected and possibly even revered by fellow prisoners and guards alike. That seems an almost impossible feat given the types of individuals who predominate in the prison setting. We do not yet know how great Adnan Syed will become, but his imprisonment has not prevented him from growing in wisdom and stature, and in some ways it may have contributed to his growth. Along with all of his supporters, I hope for the best for Adnan Syed and all those who love him.

    Also, I have enjoyed reading your passionate writing.

    1. Christina,

      Unfortunately I have no access to secret info, that was indeed my opinion that you were reading. I totally agree that Adnan has learned and grown in a way that brings honor to his friends and family despite the unfairness of his circumstances. In this particular piece, I just wanted to highlight a little of what has been lost by the way things played out. We know how the smallest twist of fate can become a huge difference in the results we get. Thank you so much for reading, and I appreciate you sharing your perspective.

  2. I am really hoping that someone is held accountable for this. The fact that this goes on OFTEN and no one is held accountable is part of the reason it continues!

    1. You are ABSOLUTELY right, Jia. It is ridiculous.

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