Rodney Reed awaits his execution

Samuel Ogali , Courier Staff

In 29 of the 50 states in the U.S., the death penalty is still used. Many advocates would argue for the death penalty as a measure to execute criminals who have committed heinous & unforgettable crimes.

Well, in this instance a Texas prisoner, Rodney Reed, is slated to be executed on Nov. 20 for a murder he committed 18 years ago. However, new evidence may prove that Reed may actually be innocent, but that’s only if he’s given the chance.

In 1998, Rodney Reed was convicted of the rape and murder of 19 year old Stacey Stites, two years prior. When Reed was first questioned on his involvement with Stites, he initially denied knowing her, only to admit to having an affair with her. Even though Reed had people who testified on his behalf, the forensic evidence found on Stites pretty much made the case locked against his favor, even though he claimed to have had sex with her two days prior to her murder.

No more than 18 years later as Reed awaits his execution, more evidence has come out that has put his conviction at odds. For one, a person within the Stites family has admitted to knowing about the affair between the two individuals, and the most explosive admission comes from Stites fiance at the time, Jimmy Fennell.

Fennell, who was incarcerated in the Stevenson unit is believed to have confided in another inmate and flat out admitted to murdering Stites after learning about her affair with Reed. With all of this further information being revealed, it would be a tragedy if Reed wasn’t further reviewed.

As a result of this, many celebrities as the likes of Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna, Meek Mill, Oprah Winfrey and more have lobbied Texas Governor Greg Abbott to delay Reed’s scheduled execution. Furthermore, 13 law enforcement members with more than 250 years of combined experience had filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of Reed. A petition in favor of Reed has surpassed two million signatures as it continues to grow.

For those who argue in favor of the death penalty, I understand the argument of bringing heinous criminals to justice, but potentially wrongfully executing someone for a crime they may not have committed is not what justice is about. As of the publishing of this article, Reed is still scheduled for execution on Nov. 20. If you disagree, sign this petition: https://www.change. org/p/stop-the-execution-of-rodney-reed and contact Texas Governor Abbot at (512) 463-1782.