Almost three million people had campaigned for Rodney Reed in a petition – and they were heard. In the sensational criminal case, a court in the US state of Texas has stopped the planned execution of the convicted murderer for the time being. This was announced by the organization Innocence Project, which Reed represents, on Friday evening (local time).
Protesters had demanded on Wednesday in Bastrop, Texas, the release and a new procedure for the 51-year-olds. Politicians, celebrities – including reality star Kim Kardashian and Rihanna – and the EU ambassador to the US had also joined the case.
According to Innocence Project, Rodney Reed has been on death row since 1998 because of the murder of a young woman in 1996. He should have been executed next Wednesday.
US Ambassador Stravros Lambrindis called on Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, to reprieve Reed. The evidence in the case raises "considerable doubts about his guilt," Lambrindis wrote in a letter on October 30.
Reed assures his innocence. That his DNA was found on the murder victim Stacey Stites, he explains with an affair with the wife and consensual sex on the day of the murder.
The litigation was dubious: In the six-week trial, the prosecution presented gruesome murder details and presented Reed as a notorious sex offender dar. In May 1998, the jury imposed the death penalty. To this day, Reed assures his innocence.
In 2001, the Innocence Project began. The New York organization has now released nearly 400 unjustly convicted, including 21 death row candidates.
Meanwhile, new evidence and testimonies point to another offender. His lawyers demand that the murder weapon be checked for DNA by Reed. They point to witnesses who focus on the wife's fiancé as the alleged perpetrator. The wrong man had come to the death row, lawyer Bryce Benjet had declared on Tuesday.
All legal remedies have been exhausted. At the end of October, the lawyers filed a petition to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.