If you’re the kind of person who vacillates back and forth on the guilt of Adnan Syed in the murder of Hae Min Lee, covered extensively by Sarah Koenig in the Serial podcast, the interview that Jay (Wilds) gave to The Intercept is probably going to swing the pendulum back the other way, toward the guilt of Adnan.
I won’t go through the entire interview here; you should read that for yourself (part one is up now, and part two will arrive later), but I will say that it seems fairly damning to Adnan, if only because Jay seems to have a clear memory of the events of the evening in question. While Adnan has practically no memory of the night, Jay — who was also high that evening — can piece together a strong narrative. Yes, there were a lot of inconsistencies in his testimony to the police back in 1999, but he does a fairly convincing job of explaining away those discrepancies in the interview:
Well first of all, I wasn’t openly willing to cooperate with the police. It wasn’t until they made it clear they weren’t interested in my ‘procurement’ of pot that I began to open up any. And then I would only give them information pertaining to my interaction with someone or where I was. They had to chase me around before they could corner me to talk to me, and there came a point where I was just sick of talking to them. And they wouldn’t stop interviewing me or questioning me. I wasn’t fully cooperating, so if they said, ‘Well, we have on phone records that you talked to Jenn.’ I’d say, ‘Nope, I didn’t talk to Jenn.’ Until Jenn told me that she talked with the cops and that it was ok if I did too.
I stonewalled them that way. No — until they told me they weren’t trying to prosecute me for selling weed, or trying to get any of my friends in trouble. People had lives and were trying to get into college and stuff like that. Getting them in trouble for anything that they knew or that I had told them — I couldn’t have that.
I guess I was being kind of a jury on whether or not people needed to be involved or whatever, but these people didn’t have anything to do with it, and I knew they didn’t have anything to do with it.
That’s the best way I can account for the inconsistencies. Once the police made it clear that my drug dealing wasn’t gonna affect the outcome of what was going on, I became a little bit more transparent.
Giving his young age, the environment in Baltimore at the time and his background, I’m inclined to believe that it’s why his story was so inconsistent: It took some work for the cops to pry the truth out of him.
Reading the rest of the interview, including Jay’s account of the night, and his own confusion surrounding Adnan’s motive, it feels a lot more open and shut than the Serial podcast led us to believe. In fact, it’s a little easier to understand how a jury could have come to the verdict it did, though it doesn’t really erase our concerns about the flaws in our criminal justice system.
I wouldn’t say that the interview sheds any new light on the case — it’s basically a rehash of Jay’s trial testimony — but the first-hand account certainly lends Jay’s side of the case added credibility.
Source: The Intercept