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Texas state senators seek reprieve for death row inmate Rodney Reed

A bipartisan crew of Texas state senators suggested Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday to grant a reprieve to dying row inmate Rodney Reed, whose case has develop into a motive célèbre as his Nov. 20 execution date nears.

Reed, whose case has been touted by means of Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Meek Mill, was once convicted within the 1996 rape and homicide of 20-year-old Stacey Stites after his DNA was once attached to her.

He to begin with advised government he didn’t know the sufferer. He advised NBC Information just lately, “”It was once the worst mistake I ever can have made.”

He now says he had a consensual courting along with her, a declare sponsored by means of a number of other people, in keeping with his protection workforce, and had not anything to do along with her dying.

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Friday’s request by means of 8 Republicans and 8 Democrats serving within the Texas senate argues that transferring ahead with the execution amid new, perhaps exculpatory proof would erode public accept as true with “now not handiest in capital punishment, however in Texas justice itself.”

The 16 senators mentioned in a letter to Abbott and to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that the brand new knowledge, together with “compelling new witness statements and forensic proof” will have to be weighed.

A spokesman for Abbott didn’t straight away reply to a request for remark.

Reed mentioned he stored the connection secret as a result of he is African American and she or he was once white — and since she was once relationship a police officer.

“We are within the South,” mentioned Reed, 51. “There is nonetheless a large number of racism occurring.”

Demise Row inmate Rodney Reed in Bastrop County District Courtroom on Oct. 10, 2017 asking Pass judgement on Doug Shaver to rethink testimony from his homicide trial within the slaying of Stacey Stites.Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman by way of AP document

The nonprofit Innocence Venture has taken up his case. Protection legal professional Bryce Benjet mentioned the state’s case is in line with the false idea that “a tender black guy like Rodney Reed would now not be relationship Stacey Stites.”

On the time, Stites was once engaged to regulation officer Jimmy Fennell, who Reed claims is the true killer. His protection workforce has discovered witnesses who say Fennell expressed anger and threats over his suspicions that she was once seeing a black guy at the back of his again.

Fennel later served 10 years in jail for kidnapping and flawed sexual process with a girl he had taken into custody when he was once an officer with the Georgetown Police Division in Texas, in keeping with The Austin Chronicle.

An inmate who served time with Fennel mentioned in a sworn statement that he had confessed to Stites’ homicide, in keeping with Reed’s prison workforce.

Stites’ circle of relatives denies Fennel killed her and believes Reed is being rightly punished.

Jareen Imam contributed.

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