Rodney Reed's Execution Halted Indefinitely by Texas Appeals Court and His Case Has Been Remanded Back to the Trial Court
Texas Death Row inmate Rodney Reed's execution was halted indefinitely by the Texas Appeals Court just a couple of days before his scheduled execution.
Rodney Reed was granted a stay of execution on Friday, just five days before he was scheduled to be executed for a murder he's constantly been insisting that he did not commit.
New evidence points to Stite's fiance, Jimmy Fennell, who was allegedly angered by the fact that she was having an affair with a black man.
BREAKING NEWS: Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted #RodneyReed an indefinite stay of execution, meaning he no longer has an execution date! Stay tuned for more info.— The Innocence Project (@innocence) November 15, 2019
Halting the Execution
The execution was blocked indefinitely by the Texas court of criminal appeals, sending the case back to the trial court in Bastrop county, where he was scheduled in 1998 for the murder of Stacey Stites two years prior.
Although the court previously rejected multiple appeals, Red's lawyers insisted that new evidence supports his claim of innocence.
Thank you to all who called, tweeted, and spoke out against the execution of an innocent person. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we keep working to prove #RodneyReed's innocence. https://t.co/pMS2i0GKTo— The Innocence Project (@innocence) November 15, 2019
Pleas From Millions
Prior to the decision made by the court of appeals, millions of people, including influential celebrities, rallied behind Reed's cause, hoping for his case to gain the public attention it needed.
Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna, and Meek Mill were some of the many who called for a petition to halt the execution, which garnered more than 3 million signatures to date.
A Possible Suspect
Stites, a white woman, was engaged to marry Jimmy Fennell. At the time of the investigation, Fennell failed two lie-detector tests and was a suspect before the police found Reed's DNA found inside her body. At the time, he was also being investigated for another case of sexual assault.
New evidence points to Stite's fiance, Jimmy Fennell, who was allegedly angered by the fact that she was having an affair with a black man. While Reed previously denied knowing Stites, he then revealed that he was having an affair with her and was afraid of admitting this as a black man should not have been having an affair with a white woman.
A Re-Opened Investigation
Aside from 3 million signatures from the general public, 26 Texas lawmakers sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott claiming that executing Reed without being sure of his guilt "risks eroding public trust not only in capital punishment but in Texas justice itself."
Meanwhile, Stites' fiance, Jimmy Fennell, is no longer a police officer and was charged for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman under his custody in 2007. He served his sentence until 2018.
🚨 BREAKING: RODNEY REED'S EXECUTION IS STAYED. By order of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Reed's "Brady, false testimony, and actual innocence claims" will be considered by the trial court in his case before any further action is taken. pic.twitter.com/vmvZ8eWtWB— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) November 15, 2019
Now that Rodney Reed is being given another shot at life, his lawyers at the Innocent Project are about to fight for his innocence and his release from prison after being there for 21 years now.