AUSTIN, Tx.— Eight Republican and eight Democratic Texas state senators endorsed a letter urging Governor Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to issue a stay to Rodney Reed, who is scheduled for execution on November 20. Earlier this week, 26 other Texas state lawmakers also wrote to the Governor, displaying importance to stop the execution.
Reed has sat on death row since 1998 for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites in Bastrop, Texas. Since his trial, there is abundant evidence that clears Reed and connects Stites’ then-fiancé Jimmy Fennell, a former local police officer.
“Granting Mr. Reed a reprieve until the new developments in his case are fully resolved will allow the cloud of doubt surrounding his guilt to be lifted. Only then should our justice system proceed with decisions that cannot be undone,” the letter sent on November 8, states.
Earlier in the week, 26 bi-partisan Texas state lawmakers sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles demanding to stop the November 20 execution of Rodney Reed to further examine the mounting evidence of his innocence.
The letter also discusses former Governor George W. Bush’s substitution of Henry Lee Lucas’s death sentence in 1998. Lucas was a convicted serial killer, but suspicions of his offense in that specific crime later emerged. Bush mitigated his sentence to life in prison and stated that as a death penalty supporter, “I feel a special obligation to make sure the State of Texas never executes a person for a crime they may not have committed.”