I was admittedly very hesitant before I listened to the first episode of Serial’s podcast series. I was wary of the length of the podcast, and I had no prior experience listening to something for so long without a visual. However, I came away very intrigued, wanting to find out as much as I possibly could about the conviction of Adnan Syed. It’s easy to see why this podcast is one of the most downloaded on the Internet.
A week later, I still find myself pondering over whether or not Adnan was guilty. Sarah Koenig definitely made a very compelling case for his innocence. Based only on what I heard in this episode, I would rule that Adnan is innocent. For me, the most suspicious part of this case is Jay’s testimony. He describes Adnan as a ruthless criminal that’s capable of committing a pre-meditated murder with very little remorse. But this didn’t come close to matching what most other people thought of him. Based on the accounts of the people who knew Adnan the best, he seemed like a likable and well-rounded person. Jay’s testimony almost seems wild and ambitious.
It seems like at this point, any chance of re-opening Adnan’s case rests on whether the court deems Asia McClain’s 10-year old testimony to be valid. I can see why the court might struggle with it. On one hand, there’s the fact that new evidence of the case has been made public that wasn’t presented the first time by a lawyer who later lost his license to practice law. Unfortunately, there’s no way to prove whether or not Asia’s testimony is correct. The letter that Asia wrote to Adnan came weeks after the day of the suspected murder, and the argument can be made that Asia simply switched up the days. After all, remembering the events of a relatively insignificant day several weeks in the past seems like there’s a high chance for error. Still, I think the fact that the evidence was never presented should mean that Adnan gets another chance at trial.
I’m very happy that I had the opportunity to listen to podcasts for the first time. They leave a great deal of imagination to the listener, similar to reading a book. While having a visual is always enjoyable, there was something very unique about being able to picture the events that are transpiring in the story in my own head. It’s almost as if I played a role in creating the story when I visualized various imagery from the descriptions given.
Another thing that I really like about podcasts is the convenience. Unlike books, television and movies which require the viewer to be fully attentive and stationary, a person listening to podcasts can easily move around while listening simply by using headphones. I found that multi-tasking while listening is also possible, as long as the other task is pretty absent-minded. I did make an attempt to be productive and complete other homework while listening to the podcast, but I found it too difficult to focus on more than one thing. However, I suppose it depends on the person.
Although I still wouldn’t replace books or television with podcasts, I’m happy that I was given the opportunity to try something new. I’m already looking forward to listening to the rest of the series!
Koenig, Sarah. “Serial: The Alibi.” Thames Valley DSB. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2017.