CEDP's blog

It's a small world

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

This is going to be a more personal piece; I hope you all won't mind. As my physical world shrinks with the inexorable progression of Lou (ALS), I am astounded at how my emotional/relational world just keeps getting bigger!  And how the big blue ball world gets smaller.

One day recently I found this message in my inbox on Facebook:

Hello Caitlin, my name is Karine, I'm a French woman living in Israel. I'm sending you this message cause I've been DEEPLY touched by your blog about Rodney Reed that I found by chance. Since I remember myself I'm deeply against death penalty but only a year ago I discovered the inhuman conditions on death row in Texas. Since this discover I also correspond with a man who is actually on death row in Polunsky.
When I see a woman like you, I'm full of admiration and I want toTHANK YOU for this great lesson of humanity!


What exactly does a "Right to Counsel" mean?

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

March 18th marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark, unanimous Supreme Court decision in Gideon v Wainwright, in which the court held that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees a person charged with a serious crime the right to have legal representation.  This decision should have changed the entire landscape, should have leveled the playing field in jurisprudence. Sadly, that is not the case.


All aboard!

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

I've been talking with Papa (aka God, Great Spirit, Goddess, Higher Power, Allah, Yahweh, Cosmic Mystery) about when I shed this bodily cocoon and I've been asking, well actually, telling him/her (Papa, from Paul Young's The Shack—I simply adore that Papa is a woman in his story!) that first thing on my new journey I'd like to take a little detour to death row to hang with Rodney for a while, get my Grizz (Rodney's second nickname that I gave him when we first met) hug, etc. I also told Papa I'd be just fine to see him at home, in Yellowstone, base camp at Mt. Everest/Chomolungma, Alpe Du Huez during the Tour de France.


I know how it works, but....

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is a world unto itself.  As an agency, it is for all intents and purposes, a free-standing entity answerable to no one. There is no meaningful oversight of TDCJ policies, procedures and practices. Now, don't misunderstand me, there are manuals governing these things. Even laws governing some. It looks good on paper, in theory. But in practice when there is any attempt to hold TDCJ to their own rules, if it is deemed as interference by the powers that be at TDCJ, it is ignored. And business as usual continues.


Above the law

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

I have a bit more to say about Lisa Tanner's comments that were aired as part of Adam Racusin's KEYE Austin story on 4/25/13 (I bet none of you are surprised!). The Attorney General's office refused an interview for the recent program, so her interview was from 2001. 

In addressing a question concerning the two beer cans found near Ms. Stites's body, this is Ms. Tanner's response:


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