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Adnan Syed, exonerated after 23 years behind bars, hired by Georgetown to work on its Prisons and Justice Initiative

By Rob Frehse, CNN

Adnan Syed, recently exonerated after spending over two decades behind bars, is now working as a program associate for Georgetown University’s Prisons and Justice Initiative, the school announced.

The initiative “addresses the root causes and consequences of mass incarceration and offers educational programs and training for incarcerated individuals and returning citizens,” the school said. In the job, Syed will support the programming for the initiative and began working in the role on December 12, the school added.

Syed was part of Georgetown’s inaugural Bachelor’s Degree Program at a Maryland prison that began last year, according to the school. He hopes to continue the program and then attend law school.

“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,” he said. “PJI changed my life. It changed my family’s life. Hopefully I can have the same kind of impact on others.”

The director of the PJI program said Syed has a lot to offer the program’s team and students.

“Adnan’s commitment to the program and to his education was clear from the moment he stepped into the classroom,” said Marc Howard. “We were thrilled to see him exonerated and then be able to welcome him to the Prisons and Justice Initiative. He is one of the most resilient and inspiring people I’ve ever met, and he has so much to offer our team and the other students in PJI programs.”

Syed spent 23 years behind bars for the 1999 killing of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee and whose murder case was featured in the landmark podcast “Serial.”

In September, Baltimore prosecutors dropped all charges against Syed after advanced DNA testing of Lee’s shoes and clothing ruled him out.

However, Hae Min Lee’s brother has requested a redo of the hearing that vacated Syed’s conviction. The brother argues the court failed to give him adequate notice about the hearing, withheld evidence from the family and did not give him a proper chance to be heard at the proceedings.

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CNN’s Melanie Schuman also contributed to this story.

Article Topic Follows: cnn-national

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