For the last 21 years, Rodney Reed has been sitting in a Texas prison on death row, while he’s maintained his innocence in the 1996 rape and murder of Stacey Stites, a woman he was dating at the time. Reed is now scheduled to be put to death on November 20.
On Saturday, hundreds of people protested Reed’s upcoming execution in front of the Capitol building in Austin, Texas. And a petition on Change.org has garnered over 100,00o signatures.
“There’s so much evidence out there, there’s so much doubt out there, and it just blows my mind that they can sit back, and let us sit in this state of uncertainty,” Rodrick Reed, Rodney’s brother, told CBS Austin. “That’s torture.”
The new evidence that his brother spoke of comes in the form of a new affidavit sworn by Arthur Snow, a former member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Snow was a prison mate Jimmy Fennel, Stites’ ex-fiance and a local police officer who was originally the prime suspect in her murder. According to Snow, Fennell admitted to killing Stites.
In the sworn statement, Snow said Fennell had “a lot of hatred and resentment” because she was having an affair with Rodney Reed. Allegedly, Fennell went on to say, “I had to kill my n*****-loving fiancée.”
According to the Innocence Project, the court found Reed guilty only because semen from Stites’ body matched his, but Reed and Stites were in a consensual relationship.
Several celebrities have rallied behind Reed and showed their support by signing the petition:
Last month, Kardashian West said she has been “investigating” Reed’s case.
Even more notably, Stites’ family is trying to save Reed from execution, because they also believe she was murdered by Fennell.