Crime: Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed: The outcry from people seeking to stop Rodney Reed's execution is growing. The support has 'bolstered him,' his attorney says - - PressFrom - US
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Crime Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed: The outcry from people seeking to stop Rodney Reed's execution is growing. The support has 'bolstered him,' his attorney says

16:20  08 november  2019
16:20  08 november  2019 Source:   cnn.com

Texas Death Row Inmate Gains Support As Execution Looms

  Texas Death Row Inmate Gains Support As Execution Looms Rodney Reed, 51, has garnered many supporters believing his claims of innocence in rape and killing, but his execution date draws near.According to multiple news reports, Rodney Reed has garnered support from the likes of "Dr. Phil" McGraw and Kim Kardashian West as part of a growing number of people urging Gov. Greg Abbott to show clemency toward the inmate. Last Friday, the European Union weighed in as well, urging clemency for Reed on the basis that evidence "casts substantial doubt as to his culpability." Some 130,000 additional supporters have urged mercy in a Change.org petition calling for the halt to the planned execution.

Rodney Reed ' s guilt in the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites has been questioned for decades. Greg Abbott to stop execution of Rodney Reed , whose guilt is widely doubted. His lawyers for years have pointed to new evidence they say makes it impossible for Reed to be the killer and instead, they

Rodney Reed , who maintains his innocence in the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, has garnered They Know The Truth,’ Says Death Row Inmate Who Insists He' s Innocent by Dr. Phil on YouTube. Reed initially said he didn't know Stites, but later said he was having an affair with her and that they had

The outcry is growing from an army of supporters, including celebrities, clergy and state lawmakers, trying to stop the execution of Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed, who is set to die in less than two weeks.

a man standing in front of a crowd: Texas Death row inmate Rodney Reed is back in Bastrop County District Court Tuesday October 10, 2017 asking Judge Doug Shaver to reconsider testimony from his trial.© Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman/AP Texas Death row inmate Rodney Reed is back in Bastrop County District Court Tuesday October 10, 2017 asking Judge Doug Shaver to reconsider testimony from his trial.

Reed's execution is scheduled for November 20. More than 20 years ago, he was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites in Bastrop, Texas, southeast of Austin. Police said he assaulted, raped and strangled Stites. Reed said he's innocent. His attorneys say the wrong man was convicted. They point to new witness accounts and evidence they say exonerates Reed.

All eyes on Texas governor as calls grow to halt execution

  All eyes on Texas governor as calls grow to halt execution AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — In his five years as Texas' governor, Republican Greg Abbott has overseen the execution of nearly 50 prisoners while only once sparing a condemned man's life.But Abbott — who has proudly referred to the death penalty as "Texas justice" — has never confronted such intense pressure to halt a lethal injection like he is facing in the case of Rodney Reed, who is set to die this month for a 1996 killing despite new evidence that even a growing number of Republican legislators say raises serious questions about his guilt.

Reed has appealed his case numerous times, and his most recent request for new DNA testing was denied in 2017, according to ABC News. Reed ’ s lawyers at the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization devoted to fighting wrongful convictions, filed an application for clemency last week, CNN

Kim Kardashian isn’t just tweeting about Rodney Reed . The reality star is reportedly lobbying to free him. TMZ reports that she spoke to Reed last week about his scheduled execution on November 20th. Kim believes there’ s new evidence and witnesses to exonerate him

More than 2 million people had signed a petition on freerodneyreed.com as of Thursday. A Change.org petition has garnered more than 300,000 signatures. Celebrities such as LL Cool J, Kim Kardashian West, Beyoncé and T.I. have voiced their support for Reed, whose attorneys are seeking a new trial. Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, and Democratic and Republican state lawmakers made appeals this week to stop Reed's execution.

But critics, including the lead prosecutor in Reed's case, say there is overwhelming evidence that he is guilty.

In an interview with CNN, Reed's attorney, Bryce Benjet, said the outcry "has really bolstered him."

Texas pastors to call on Gov. Abbott at rally to stop execution of Rodney Reed

  Texas pastors to call on Gov. Abbott at rally to stop execution of Rodney Reed The execution date is getting closer for Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed, and his attorneys are expected to make a last-ditch effort to force DNA testing. Rodney Reed was found guilty for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites in Bastrop County. Reed and his supporters have maintained his innocence, saying key evidence, such as the murder weapon, has never been tested for DNA. Reed's execution date is set for Nov. 20 and a group of Texas pastors will gather at a local church to ask Gov. Greg Abbott to stop the execution of Reed.

Texas is scheduled to execute Rodney Reed on Nov. 20. He was convicted of killing a woman in 1996.Credit The lawyers work for the Innocence Project, which seeks to exonerate people who might have He said he did not know whether Mr. Fennell supports the death penalty for Mr. Reed .

Reed ' s efforts to stop his execution have received support from such celebrities as Rihanna, Dr. Phil and Kim Reed ' s attorneys allege his conviction was based on flawed evidence. They say the prosecution's claim that the "I believe with all of the support that we have been receiving, it should

"That is a sign that anybody who looks at this is going to know that this is a miscarriage of justice and that we can't go forward with this execution," said Benjet, a senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project.

'A mountain of evidence' of innocence

The Innocence Project -- which says Reed, who is black, was convicted by an all-white jury -- points out what it says are weaknesses in the case. Among them, the murder weapon has never been tested for DNA evidence and forensic experts have admitted to errors in their testimony, which led to the conviction, the Innocence Project said.

Benjet told CNN there is a "a mountain of evidence" that proves Reed's innocence and points suspicion at Stites' then-fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, a local police officer who was a suspect at the time of the investigation.

Fennell was never charged in the death of his then-fiancée.

Fennell testified during Reed's 1998 trial that he and Stites were home together at the apartment on the night of April 22, 1996. Fennell testified he stayed up to watch TV when Stites went to sleep around 9 p.m. When Stites left the next morning for her 3:30 a.m. shift at a grocery store, Fennell said he was asleep.

Free Rodney Reed Petition Surpasses 2 Million Signatures to Stop Execution of Texas Death Row Inmate

  Free Rodney Reed Petition Surpasses 2 Million Signatures to Stop Execution of Texas Death Row Inmate Reed is scheduled to be executed on November 20.Reed, 51, was convicted of raping and murdering 18-year-old Stacey Stites in 1996 and is scheduled to be executed Nov. 20. Campaigners advocating for Reed's release claim he is innocent and celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, urged Abbott to stop the execution as new evidence could exonerate the 51-year-old.

Reed ’ s family and legal team said new developments in the case exonerate him. 2 teenage boys to be tried as adults in death of photographer hit by log. Good Morning America. Man charged with capital murder in Texas homecoming party shooting released from jail.

Death row inmate Rodney Reed . File picture: Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, Kardashian insists that there has been 'substantial evidence' since his 1998 trial which exonerates Reed ' s brother Rodrick has expressed gratitude to Kardashian for her efforts. "I want you to know you

Stites' pickup was found abandoned in a high school parking lot. Her partially clothed body was found off a rural road. She was 18 days shy of her wedding day, according to an opposition brief filed by prosecutors in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Reed became a suspect in Stites' killing after he was arrested for kidnapping, beating and attempting to rape and kill another woman, 19-year-old Linda Schlueter, near the same route Stites usually took to work at the time she disappeared, prosecutors said in their Supreme Court filing.

The similarities of the case led authorities to investigate. Law enforcement had Reed's DNA on file for another alleged rape and it matched the DNA found on Stites' body, the filing said.

In an interview with CNN, Schlueter expressed frustration with the growing support for Reed.

"Rodney Reed is not innocent at all and all these people that think he's innocent, I'm so sorry, they're so blinded," Schlueter, now 42, said about Stites' murder.

Schlueter was among six women who prosecutors said Reed attacked or sexually assaulted. Reed was charged and acquitted in one case, prosecutors said. He was not prosecuted on the other allegations.

Free Rodney Reed: 100,000 Sign Petition to Stop Execution of Death Row Inmate in Texas

  Free Rodney Reed: 100,000 Sign Petition to Stop Execution of Death Row Inmate in Texas Inmate who has always maintained innocence due to be put to death on November 20. According to the Innocence Project, Texas is on the "verge of executing an innocent man," citing a number of contradicting confessions and evidence which implicates Stites's fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, a local police officer who was originally the prime suspect in her murder.The project, along with Reed's attorneys, filed an application for clemency with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles on October 30 in the wake of a new affidavit sworn by Arthur Snow.

Rodney Reed ' s execution date is set for Nov. 20, but his lawyers claim the police officer boyfriend of the woman he's convicted of killing committed the crime. His lawyers say someone else confessed to the crime. Rodney Reed on death row in 2019. (Tiffany McMillan).

Family and supporters of death row inmate Rodney Reed are continuing to push for a reprieve with his execution planned to take place in less than three weeks. A change.org petition urging the execution be stopped and all new evidence in the case be presented to a jury has also recently

Benjet said Reed has denied the sexual assault allegations, "which were never meaningfully vetted in court."

Benjet said the prosecution's case was based on the theory that Reed abducted, sexually assaulted and killed Stites within a two hour time span -- all, Fennell said, after the time she left for work that day. But forensic scientists for the legal team say Stites was killed hours before Fennell told police she left for work, suggesting the murder occurred during the time Fennell said the two were in the apartment, Benjet said.

"This renders Rodney Reed's guilt impossible and directly implicates Jimmy Fennell in this murder," Benjet said. "And there's more because even just in the last month, new witnesses have come forward that show that Jimmy Fennell has made statements implicating himself in the murder."

In 2008, Fennell pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and improper sexual activity with a person in custody while he was an officer in Georgetown, Texas, after a woman he detained, when responding to a domestic dispute call, accused him of rape. He was sentenced to 10 years.

A former inmate who served time with Fennell said in an affidavit filed this month that Fennell confessed to the killing of Stites.

"Jimmy said his fiancée had been sleeping around with a black man behind his back," wrote Arthur Snow Jr., who was serving a sentence for forgery in a Texas prison in 2010, in the affidavit.

Death row inmate Rodney Reed maintains innocence weeks before execution

  Death row inmate Rodney Reed maintains innocence weeks before execution Reed has been on death row for 21 years. His family and legal team say new developments in the case exonerate Reed.Reed’s family and legal team say new developments in the case exonerate him. Reed, 51, maintains his innocence.

Rodney Reed is set to be executed this month for the murder of Stacy Stites. Meanwhile, a movement is growing to #FreeRodneyReed. Reed has long admitted to having been in a romantic relationship with Stites, but at the time of the trial, no witness would corroborate the affair.

RODNEY Reed , 51, has been behind bars for more than 21 years for the 1996 rape and murder of The Innocence Project, which gives legal support to death row inmates in disputed cases, last TV favourite Dr Phil McGraw also discussed the Reed case on his show last month - during which he

"Toward the end of the conversation Jimmy said confidently, 'I had to kill my n*****- loving fiancée,'" he wrote.

Separately, a former Bastrop County police officer named Charles Wayne Fletcher said in an affidavit filed in October that Fennell confided in him in 1996, before the murder, that he believed his fiancée was sleeping with a black man.

'There was 'irrefutable DNA evidence,' prosecutors say

Fennell's attorney, Robert Phillips said his client denies any involvement in Stites' death. Phillips said Fennell is not worried he could become the focus of a prosecution inquiry if "some-hearted judge" grants Reed a new trial.

Phillips dismissed the affidavit from Snow, as well as claims from other new witnesses saying Reed is innocent, saying it's disingenuous that people are suddenly coming out of the woodwork. "Each one of these stories is laughably lacking in credibility," he said.

"There's no evidence that's worthy of presenting even to a grand jury that Jimmy Fennell was somehow involved," Phillips said

Lisa Tanner, a Texas deputy assistant attorney general who was the lead prosecutor for Reed's case, maintained in a statement that Reed is guilty.

"A large amount of credible evidence, including irrefutable DNA evidence, the testimony of witnesses, and the pattern Rodney Reed followed in committing his other sexual assaults, show beyond a reasonable doubt that he raped and murdered Stacey Stites," Tanner said.

The Innocence Project said Reed and Stites were involved in a consensual relationship.

Hundreds rally at Texas Governor's Mansion in support of death row inmate Rodney Reed

  Hundreds rally at Texas Governor's Mansion in support of death row inmate Rodney Reed AUSTIN, Texas - Hundreds rallied Saturday afternoon in front of the Texas Governor's Mansion in Austin, hoping their pleas for death row inmate Rodney Reed's execution to be stayed would reach the ears of the man who has the power to do so: Gov. Greg Abbott. Standing just feet from Abbott's residence, Rodney Reed's mother, Sandra Reed, had a message for him. "It is time for change.Standing just feet from Abbott’s residence, Rodney Reed’s mother, Sandra Reed, had a message for him.

Activists are calling for Rodney Reed ' s execution to be stayed before the date on November 20Credit: AFP or Rodney Reed is a 53-year-old African American man from Bastrop County, Texas . He has been on death row in Texas since 1998. Reed was convicted of raping and murdering 19-year-old

THE petition to stop the execution of death row inmate Rodney Reed has smashed two million names. Snow added: "I realised that Rodney Reed was sitting in prison for a murder that Jimmy Fennell had Free Rodney Reed petition. Reed ' s lawyers say other recent affidavits corroborate the

According to Tanner, more than 20 judges have reviewed the case over the past two decades "and found no reversible error and no credible evidence that someone other than Mr. Reed might have been disposed toward committing this heinous crime."

In a now deleted tweet highlighting the growing divide in the case, the Texas District & County Attorneys Association posted: "Not sure how Reed's supporters have turned him into the most popular serial rapist since Michael Jackson."

The post said, "but perhaps that's a good reminder why we don't rely on social media campaigns to determine guilt/innocence or punishment."

The association has apologized for the tweet.

Supporters say an innocent man could be executed

Meanwhile, the chorus of supporters keeps growing.

A group of 26 bipartisan lawmakers this week wrote Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, who can recommend clemency to the governor, urging a delay.

"Killing Rodney Reed without certainty about his guilt may exacerbate that issue and erode public trust -- not only in capital punishment, but in Texas justice itself," the letter said.

CNN has reached out to Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for comment.

In a statement, Vásquez, the bishop of the Diocese of Austin, said there are enough doubts that "justice dictates a careful review of the new witness statements and other evidence recently brought forward."

"If the scheduled execution of Mr. Reed proceeds, there is great risk the state of Texas will execute a man who is innocent of this crime while allowing the guilty party to go free," Vásquez said.

Celebrities, others ask Texas to halt inmate's execution .
Supporters of a Texas death row inmate who is facing lethal injection in less than two weeks for a murder he says he didn't commit are mounting a final push in the courts and on social media to stop his execution, which is being called into question by lawmakers, pastors, celebrities and the European Union. 

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