Rodney Reed is Innocent - Free Him Now!

Bastrop County (TX) DA Bryan Goertz

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UPDATED Nov 15, 2019: Today the Texas Parole Board denied a recommendation of clemency and at the same time recommended that Governor Abbott grant at 120 day reprieve that Reed's attorneys had requested in or to pursue various new evidence of innocence. A short time later, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay and sent the case back to the trial court. This is a solid situation and it certainly means the case gets to continue and Rodney Reed will NOT be executed on November 20, 2019. This petition will remain open for the time being. Please sign and share - names added now will be held for the next action where citizen engagement may be useful.

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Read the Innocence Project's letter to Texas Governor Abbott, here.

The State’s entire case against Rodney Reed has been demolished. The timeline is wrong, all the expert witnesses recanted their testimony, and some of the most respected forensic pathologists in the world concur that the prosecution’s theory is impossible. The State’s case doesn’t make sense because Rodney is innocent.

Police initially suspected that Jimmy Fennell, fiancé of Stacey Stites (the victim), was the killer. Fennell failed two polygraph tests when he was asked if he strangled Stites, but police cleared him anyway. Why? It might have had something to do with the fact that Fennell was a fellow police officer. Years later, Fennell was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping a woman he had detained while on-duty as a police sergeant.

This case has undeniable racial undertones. Rodney Reed, a black man, was accused of raping and killing a young white woman who was engaged to a white police officer in a small Texas town. The jury was all white. No, this isn’t To Kill a Mockingbird; this is real life and an innocent man’s life is on the line.

What’s truly shocking is that there is DNA evidence that has never been tested. Rodney Reed’s lawyers have been working for years to get this testing that could prove his innocence. Bastrop County DA Bryan Goertz and lawyers from the Texas Attorney General’s office have blocked all efforts to test the evidence. What do they have to hide? It’s time to put up or shut up: test the DNA now!

A few things need to happen quickly for Rodney: (1) Test ALL the evidence; (2) A new, fair trial free of racial bias and false forensics. Rodney should have an opportunity to fully prove his innocence in a courtroom.

Bastrop County DA Bryan  Goertz has actively opposed Rodney’s efforts to prove his innocence for years. All Goertz needs to do is not oppose these legal efforts to get at the truth. If police and prosecutors really have nothing to hide, then it’s time to get out of the way.

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To: Bastrop County (TX) DA Bryan Goertz
From: [Your Name]

Bastrop County DA Bryan Goertz - You have actively opposed Reed’s efforts to prove his innocence for years. Please stop opposing Reed's legal efforts to get at the truth. If you really have nothing to hide, then it’s time to get out of the way. We DEMAND:

(1) Do not seek another execution date;
(2) Test ALL the evidence;
(3) Initiate a new, fair trial free of racial bias and false forensics.

Rodney Reed should have an opportunity to fully prove his innocence in a courtroom. You have the power to make that happen. Please use it now.