Rodney supporters in recent MLK Day march in Austin.
By: Lily Hughes
ON HIS first full day in office, newly inaugurated Texas Gov. Greg Abbott oversaw his first execution: Arnold Prieto was put to death by the state of Texas on January 21. Just one week later, Texas went forward with the execution of Robert Ladd, a man with known intellectual disabilities. Another ten executions are scheduled in Texas before June of this year.
Abbott is an enthusiastic supporter of the death penalty, like his predecessors George W. Bush and Rick Perry. During Bush and Perry's combined 20-year tenure, 431 men and women were killed by lethal injection. This is despite the highly publicized scandals concerning the execution of people who were likely innocent, such as Cameron Todd Willingham, Ruben Cantu and Carlos DeLuna.
Rodney Reed’s family has been at the forefront of a 17 year struggle to prove his innocence and win his freedom from Texas’ death row. Recently, Rodney’s mother Sandra, and brother Rodrick, sat down to talk with Lily Hughes about their disappointment in the courts, the need for DNA testing, and the pain of facing an execution date.
THERE'S A clemency process that's already started, and we hope that you will have an opportunity to meet with the new governor, Greg Abbott, or perhaps members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, to talk to them about why they should grant clemency. What you would say to the governor if you did get a chance to meet with him face to face?