News 04.25.22

Statement: Supreme Court Grants Cert in Rodney Reed’s Case

The Supreme Court will hear the case of Mr. Reed who has been on death row in Texas for 24 years.

By Innocence Staff

Rodney Reed in Allan B. Polunsky Unit, West Livingston, Texas in 2015. (Image: Courtesy of Massoud Hayoun/ Al Jazeera)

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.”

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  1. Helene WICQUART says:

    Rodney Reed, Melissa Lucio have spent many years in prison and are threatened with a death sentence for the only reason they are both black and poor. Obviously if they had been white and if they had been able to afford a good lawyer they wouldn’t have been sentenced to death. I have lived in the US and have found the Americans are “good christians” and they are faithful church goers but when it comes to justice they think their justice is better than God’s .. and life has a price not everyone can afford.

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