Dozens march for 20th Annual 'March to Abolish the Death Penalty'
AUSTIN, Texas - Dozens marched from the Texas State Capitol to the Governor's mansion Saturday as part of the 20th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Among those marching, were the family of Rodney Reed. Reed is accused of raping and killing Stacey Stites, 19, in Bastrop County in 1996. Reed and his family have always maintained his innocence.
“I vowed 23 years ago that the whole world would know what the State of Texas has done to my son, and now after 23 years it has been revealed that my son is...innocent,” said Reed’s mother, Sandra Reed.
Reed -- is scheduled to be executed in one month. His lawyer has requested a withdrawal of his execution date, but right now, it still stands.
“The system has failed my brother and a million other Rodney Reeds just like him.” said Reed’s brother, Rodrick Reed.
According to the Innocence Project, two new witnesses have come forward in recent weeks.
“Whether it be later or not, that they cared enough to put the truth out there and it’s never too late unless you’re dead.” said Rodrick Reed.
According to the Innocence Project, the new witnesses add evidence to the case against Jimmy Fennell, Stacey Stites former fiance. The ex-cop spent years in prison for an unrelated sexual assault, and Reeds family believes he is the real killer.
“I’ve always been taught that the truth shall set you free, the truth is here -- the state had nothing from the beginning but old DNA.” said Sandra Reed.
Rodney Reed says he and Stites were involved in a romantic relationship. The same year Reed was convicted of Stites murder, he faced charges for three unrelated counts of sexual assault and one count of aggravated sexual assault -- when asked, Reed’s brother Rodrick, said allegations are just that -- allegations.
“He was never indicted for any of those crimes. He was never convicted for any of those crimes. And in this country, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Now prove him guilty then say these things.” he said.
Reed’s case has attracted a star-studded list of supporters, including Kim Kardashian -- who tweeted Governor Abbott Saturday: “PLEASE @GovAbbott How can you execute a man when since his trial, substantial evidence that would exonerate Rodney Reed has come forward and even implicates the other person of interest. I URGE YOU TO DO THE RIGHT THING.”
“Rodney, he’s scared. He told me I’m scared this [execution] date scares me, and he told me all I want y’all to do is fight the lies with the truth don’t fight physically but gently with compassion and truth.” said Rodrick.