Rodney Reed petition smashes 2million names as execution for ‘innocent’ death row inmate backed by Kim Kardashian looms – The Sun

THE petition to stop the execution of death row inmate Rodney Reed has smashed two million names.

But, with the Texas prisoner facing a lethal injection on November 20, celebrities including Kim Kardashian are urging a "reprieve so that new evidence can be considered".

Reed's many supporters are mounting a final push in the courts and on social media to stop his execution for a crime he says he didn't commit.

He was handed the death penalty for the killing of Stacey Stites, 19, who died in April 1996.

One year later, Reed – then aged 29 – was arrested and charged with capital murder.

Prosecutors insisted that he raped and strangled Stites as she made her way to work at a supermarket.

They successfully argued that DNA evidence matching Reed's DNA, found in a small amount of sperm in her body, was enough to prove that he was responsible for her brutal sexual assault and murder.

However, Reed, 51, has long maintained he didn't kill Stites.

Instead, he alleges that her fiance, former police officer Jimmy Fennell, was the real culprit.

Reed says Fennell was angry because Stites – who was white – was having an affair with Reed.


In recent weeks, Reed's lawyers have presented affidavits in support of this.

The new information includes an affidavit by a former prison inmate, Arthur Snow, who claims Fennell bragged about killing Stites and referred to Reed by a racial slur.

Snow was in the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood when he served time with Fennell.

In his October 29 affidavit, Snow claims that Fennell told him that he had killed Stites, whom he spoke of "with a lot of hatred and resentment," because she had been having an affair with a black man.

Snow added: "I realised that Rodney Reed was sitting in prison for a murder that Jimmy Fennell had confessed to me that he had committed."

Absolutely zero evidence exists that Rodney had anything at all to do with this crime.

Reed's lawyers say other recent affidavits corroborate the relationship between Stites and Reed.

According to the online petition, Free Rodney Reed, "absolutely zero evidence exists that Rodney had anything at all to do with this crime.

"He was in a consensual relationship with Stacey Stites and the only DNA of Rodney's that was found was from this consensual relationship.

"The prosecution, citing that DNA, persuaded an all-white jury of his guilt; he was convicted and sentenced to die by lethal injection."

Kardashian, along with other celebs such as Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Dr Phil, and Yara Shahidi have pleaded with Texas Governor Greg Abbott to "do the right thing."

She also thanked the 13 Democrats and 13 Republicans who sent Gov. Abbott a letter asking for a reprieve, so that new evidence can be considered.

Shahidi tweeted: "We must come together to prevent a gross injustice."

All the evidence makes it plain as day that Rodney Reed is the killer.

His brother, Rodrick, told Radio 1 Newsbeat that he hopes the celebrity backing will help save him.

Reed's lawyers in August filed a federal lawsuit to compel DNA testing of crime scene evidence.

They say the testing – which has been fought against for years by prosecutors – could identify someone else as the murderer. The lawsuit is still pending.

Prosecutors say Reed's semen was found in the victim, his claims of an affair with Stites were not proven at trial, Fennell was cleared as a suspect and Reed had a history of committing other sexual assaults.

At Reed's trial, prosecutors presented evidence that he had assaulted five other women and a 12-year-old girl.

However, Reed's lawyers have denied these accusations.



Fennell's lawyer, Bob Phillips, says his client vehemently denies killing Stites and that he was heartbroken by her death.

He added: "All the evidence makes it plain as day that Rodney Reed is the killer and these fantastic 11th hour attempts to implicate Jimmy are the same song, 200th verse."

Gov. Abbott has granted just one reprieve to stop an execution since he came to office in January 2015.


 

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