UPDATE: Texas Appeals Court blocks execution of Rodney Reed.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a ruling on Friday “blocking the execution of Rodney Reed just days before he was set to die,” according to the New York Times.
CNN reports Reed is slated to be executed at the end of the month.
Questlove, Meek Mill, and Rihanna join numerous artists who have recently announced their support for the release of Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed. CNN reports that Reed has spent more than 20 years on death row after being convicted for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, he is slated to be executed later this month.
Throughout his time served for the death and rape of Stites, he has maintained his innocence. In a turn of events that could prove to change Reed’s life, an affidavit recently filed by a former inmate, Arthur Snow claims that Stites’ fiancé, Jimmy Fennell allegedly confessed to killing her in 2010.
According to CNN, Snow and Fennell met as Snow served a sentence for forgery in 2010 “when he made a deal with Fennell, who’d sought protection from other inmates.” The document states that Snow was then a member of the Aryan Brotherhood gang. In his affidavit, Snow also said he was with Fennell in the prison yard when Fennell began bragging about killing Stites.
“Jimmy said his fiancé had been sleeping around with a black man behind his back,” noted Snow. “Toward the end of the conversation Jimmy said confidently, ‘I had to kill my n*****- loving fiancé,'” he shared.
In the affidavit, Snow also wrote:
“My impression was the Jimmy felt safe, even proud, sharing this information with me because I was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. I think Jimmy assumed that his confession would impress me and earn him credibility with the Aryan Brotherhood.”
In addition to the confession, the Innocence Project has shared that Reed’s “case was never tested for DNA evidence.” A group of forensic pathologists alleges that his hand in the crime is “medically and scientifically impossible.” Texas forensic experts reportedly admitted to errors in their testimony. Evidence also has proven that Stites and Reed were in a consensual relationship.
Reed is set to be executed on November 20th. CNN reports that his attorneys have applied for clemency in an attempt to block his execution.
— Questlove from @SongsThatShook Oct 13th @AMC_tv (@questlove) November 4, 2019
— Rihanna (@rihanna) November 4, 2019
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) November 4, 2019
— T.I. (@Tip) November 4, 2019
Texas is scheduled to execute #RodneyReed on 11/20.
We must act now & fight for justice.
According to the @NAACP, Black people make up 13% of the population, yet make up 42% of death row & 35% of the executions.#FreeRodneyReed and sign the petition @ https://t.co/fZWsFQ2mfU! pic.twitter.com/cPdKtcb4EE
— A N G E L A | R Y E (@angela_rye) November 4, 2019
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.