By Anthony LaBruto
Support across the United States is escalating for Rodney Reed, a Texas death row inmate who was convicted for the 1996 murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites.
New evidence suggests that Reed was wrongly convicted. Reed’s attorneys point out that there are several discrepancies in the case. The murder weapon used in the killing has never been tested for DNA evidence, and foresic analysts admitted that there were problems in their original testimony.
More than 2 million people have signed a petition through freerodneyreed.com, advocating for Reed’s immediate release from prison. Notable celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna, Bishop Joe Vasquez, the head of the Roman Catholic diocese of Austin, and several Texas state lawmakers all believe that the case should be reevaluated.
Prosecutors point to the 20 judges that have reviewed the case since it has happened and believe that the original conviction was justified. Additionally, Lisa Tanner, a deputy assistant attorney general for the Reed prosecution believes that there is “ 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”
Rodney Reed’s execution is scheduled for November 20. A group of 26 bipartisan lawmakers have written a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the Board of Pardons and Paroles urging that they give clemency and potentially postpone the execution until further judicial review has been conducted.