CEDP's blog

A story, but who's telling it?

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

In the recent KEYE Austin news story by reporter Adam Racusin, I was really impacted by the statements made by Lisa Tanner, the prosecutor in Rodney's case, in an interview given in 2001.  So much so, that they just kept replaying and replaying in my mind.  Here's the first part of her comments:


Guilty until proven innocent

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

With the most recent denial of relief in Rodney's case and the case moving into the 5th Circuit's purview, I find myself wondering again, how can innocence not matter?


Rodney's Case Update

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

As of today, Rodney has been wrongfully imprisoned 5,786 days. Death row is in the midst of the first lockdown of 2013. Thankfully, Rodney did not have any belongings confiscated during the recent shakedown. Rodney just had his cell changed, so he no longer has his "sunset" view. He told me at our visit on February 1 that he already misses his view and his red tail hawk visits. He is now housed on B pod, second tier, cell 79—a corner cell with no view.


Staying Strong

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

We forge the strength of our friendship,
in the rough climes of Lou and death row.
Both of us aware of the terrain and the odds.
The terrain treacherous and the odds not in our favor.

Staying strong means staying in the moment,
the here and now,
using, celebrating, cherishing, struggling with,
each and every precious breath,
each and every setback,
each and every visit,
each and every card,
each and every smile,
each and every tear.
Staying strong means bearing with
all that the precious present brings.

I remember some time ago
when I realized that we were becoming friends,
thinking, how did this happen?
For heaven's sake, I'm dying.
He knows that too.
How can I possibly ask this of him?
But, I did ask and,
I did say please walk away
if at any point this becomes too much.


More on "A Card and Short Note Kinda Guy"

Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed


By: Caitlin Adams

Rodney let me know a couple visits ago that I'd forgot something in my last blog entry. As soon as he said what I'd forgotten all I could think was, "How'd I forget that?" When I wrote about all the invasions of privacy that Rodney is forced to deal with each day, I forgot to mention shakedowns. Shakedowns are when a team of TDCJ staff goes through your cell and belongings with a fine tooth comb. They can go through in an organized, respectful manner or they can go through like a tornado. They can at this time confiscate anything they choose to confiscate. If they choose tornado style, Rodney is left to clean up the mess and if they damage or destroy something in the process - oh well, too bad. I get the sense when I listen to Rodney speak about shakedowns that they are the "worst" of the indignities he is faced with.


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