In my haste and excitement to write about the first part of Jay Wild’s first interview with The Intercept last week, I realized in retrospect that I was way too quick to fall for Jay’s rationale for the discrepancies in his timeline. Soon thereafter it became apparent that not only was Jay’s explanation shaky, but he had presented yet another timeline, in addition to the ones laid out on Serial.
To be fair, it’s hard to keep all the timelines straight, and in a conversation with a friend the other day, I found myself thinking that someone should graph all the timeliness so it’d be easier to spot the inconsistencies. Yesterday, Mashable did just that, and once you’re able to easily compare all the different timelines, it’s much easier to recognize just how all over the map Jay has been.
Spend 60 seconds looking at this, and your head will explode.
But the question is, are these many, many discrepancies in the timeline — including the most recent one from The Intercept interview — enough to warrant a new trial? Probably not. I wrote at length about the heavy burden on Adnan there after episode nine, and unfortunately, I still don’t think that — legally — there’s enough new evidence to convince a court to retry Adnan.
In The Guardian, Alan Dershowitz — the Harvard Law professor who overturned the murder conviction of Claus von Bülow and advised on O.J. Simpson’s defense — also wrote about the burden against Adnan. He came to a similar conclusion:
The standard for granting a new trial varies from state to state, but is fairly daunting in Maryland - where the defendant has the burden of proving both that he could not have discovered the new evidence with due diligence at the time of trial, and that the evidence is likely to result in an acquittal in a new trial. So, unless more and better evidence of actual innocence can be found, I doubt that Syed will get a new trial based on the current challenge.
Jay’s testimony is absolute crap. In fact, at this point, were a new trial granted, the case against Adnan may be strongest if Jay is completely left out of it. Jay’s general sketchiness and his inconsistent stories have actually clouded the case against Adnan. As one Redditor has illustrated, if you go Occam’s Razor on this case and remove Jay from the equation all together, it’s still hard to shake the fact that Adnan had better motive and means than Jay. After all, Adnan was at school when Hae was let out; Jay wasn’t. Adnan was in a position to kill Hae; Jay would’ve had to come and get her.
But let’s put that aside for the moment, and turn to the latest post from Rabia Chaudhry, who prompted Sarah Koenig to take this case in the first place. In it, Rabia denied releasing any personal information about Jay Wilds to reddit (as Jay had suggested in the final part of his interview with The Intercept). Rabia also pointed out some more inconsistencies in Jay’s timeline based on his interview with The Intercept.
But one piece of evidence that she tried to downplay actually made my eyes pop open. It was in reference to the final question that Natasha Vargas Cooper asked in the interview with Jay:
Okay. One last question. What did you end up buying Stephanie at the mall?
I think was a gold bracelet. Possibly a gold necklace. I know that it was a piece of jewelry that came in a jewelry box, and it cost about 70 or 80 bucks.
I didn’t think much of that when I read it, but of course, Rabia made an interesting connection.
I have to say, Natasha’s final question was brilliant. It had to have been purposeful, it was no fluke. Now here’s the thing. It could be totally meaningless that Jay bought Stephanie, his girlfriend who believed Adnan was innocent until Jay “leaned” on her, a piece of jewelry that came in a box.
Honestly, while I appreciate Natasha’s question, I know it doesn’t necessarily mean much that Jay bought jewelry in a box the same day and something similar was found in Hae’s car. Many teenage girls have trinkets like this, so its not necessarily suspicious. But I will point out that if Adnan had bought jewelry in a gift box that day, it would absolutely have been used as evidence against him by the prosecutor.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that Jay bought that jewelry, but man, it does kind of fit, doesn’t it? It’s at least something I plan to turn around in my mind for another 12 hours before probably dismissing it.
Finally, while discussing the potential “collateral” damage that Serial has caused Jay and his family, it’s hard not to get caught up in Rabia’s fervor and her absolute certainty that Jay murdered Hae.
She basically reminds me of Abigail Spencer’s character in Rectify. She’s a pit bull with a rabbit in her mouth, and you’re basically going to have to use the jaws of death to release her grip on Jay Wilds.