Today, the Supreme Court agreed to hear argument on Rodney Reed’s petition challenging the constitutionality of the Texas DNA testing statute. DNA testing of the murder weapon could be instrumental in proving his innocence of the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites.
Statement from Mr. Reed’s legal team on today’s SCOTUS decision:
“Rodney Reed has steadfastly maintained his innocence for more than 20 years, and a substantial body of evidence has emerged supporting his innocence. Mr. Reed, who is Black, was convicted in 1998 by an all-white Texas jury of the murder of Stacey Stites, who is white. Among other things, new evidence of innocence points to Stites’ white fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, as the perpetrator. But Texas and the Texas courts have refused to allow DNA testing of key crime-scene evidence, including the ligature handled by the perpetrator in the commission of the crime. And when Mr. Reed sought access to DNA testing in federal court, the federal courts wrongly threw out his claims as untimely, reasoning that he could have started his federal action while the state-court proceedings were still pending. We look forward to having the Supreme Court consider our arguments.”