16 state senators send letter to Abbott, parole board asking for reprieve in Rodney Reed case

Sixteen state senators have sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott and the chair of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, asking them to grant a reprieve for Rodney Reed.

Eight Republican and eight Democratic state senators signed the letter to Abbott and Chair David Guiterrez urging them to grant the reprieve.

"As you know, the case that put Mr. Reed on death row has been called into serious question by compelling new witness statements and forensic evidence along with evidentiary gaps that could be filled with additional investigation and testing," says the letter. "We appreciate how difficult decisions like this are and know how seriously you take them, but only you can postpone his execution to allow these new leads to be properly explored."

Reed was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, who was strangled and left on a Bastrop County road. DNA recovered from her body matched Reed, whose attorneys claim was having a secret affair with Stites, explaining the DNA match.

The letter, signed by senators Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), Royce West (D-Dallas), Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso), Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), Pat Fallon (R-Prosper), Eddie Lucio Jr (D-Brownsville), Kirk Watson (D-Austin), Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), Charles Perry (R-Lubbock), Bob Hall (R-Edgewood), Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas) and Beverly Powell (D-Burleson).

Reed's case has drawn the support of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, actress/activist Alyssa Milano, singers Rihanna, Meek Mill and Beyoncé and presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris.

Reed is set to be executed on November 20.