Like Willie Manning, Rodney Reed is on death row in the south of the USA, with a case that is racially charged: Reed, who is black, was found guilty by an all-white jury of murdering a white woman in Texas in 1996.
As in Willie’s case, forensic testimony given at Reed’s trial was inaccurate. As in Willie’s case, Reed’s case is full of further anomalies; moreover, there is credible evidence that the murder was actually committed by the victim’s fiancé, a white police officer with a history of sexual assault, dishonesty and violence.
Just as Willie was scheduled for execution in 2013 with DNA from his case untested, so Reed now faces execution on November 20 with his request for DNA testing refused by the courts.
Attorneys for Reed have asked Texas Governor Greg Abbott for a 30-day reprieve from execution, citing new evidence and “grave doubt concerning his guilt.”
Update Great news! Following a huge campaign on behalf of Rodney Reed, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has issued an indefinite stay of execution for Reed, and has remanded his case to the trial court for ‘further development’ of three of his four claims.
Following the decision, Reed’s brother, Rodrick Reed, spoke out against the US death penalty’s systemic injustice:
“There’s … other Rodney Reeds out there that’s going through similar situations. We have to, as a people, stand up and say enough is enough.”