Rodney Reed appeal denied by the 5th Circuit - JUSTICE FOR RODNEY REED!


Credit: PHOTO BY JANA BIRCHUM
Rodney Reed
By: Lily Hughes
Monday, January 13, 2014

On late last Friday the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its ruling in the case of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed. The court denied relief, upholding an earlier ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

This is very bad news - the court had in front of it the entirety of the evidence collected over the years that proved Rodney's innocence - including new testimony regarding the forensic evidence that matches Rodney's account of his relationship with the victim, Stacey Stites.

The ruling seems to be largely based on a finding that there are no "credible" witnesses that have come forward to testify to the well known relationship between Rodney and Stacey. This relationship was known to people in Bastrop, and many signed affadavits regarding it. The fact that some folks were either related to Rodney, had previous criminal records, etc. has led to the maligning of these witnesses as not "credible". This is a familiar pattern that shows the hypocrisy and bias of the court -  if the same type of witnesses are called to testify for the state, they are suddenly found to be credible.

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty both in Texas and nationally have worked together with Rodney's family for years to try to win a new trial for Rodney where all the evidence proving his innocence could be presented to a jury. I spoke with Rodney's mother, Sandra Reed, and the family is devastated by this latest ruling. Sandra said they are all in shock and just cannot believe that this is the court's decision.

Unfortunately, this latest ruling by the 5th Circuit is a huge blow to our efforts to win justice. This could clear the path for an execution date to be set very soon.

Rodney's lawyers say that while it is possible a date will be set soon, they have an opportunity to respond and win a new hearing, and the state more typically waits for that to be denied - it's possible they could wait to see the outcome of an application to the US Supreme Court as well. Rodney's lawyers will be refiling in the next few weeks and pursuing other avenues for relief from the court.

Folks can look at the full ruling here: http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/13/13-70009-CV0.pdf

Despite this sickening decision - the CEDP and Rodney's family and supporters are not giving up. Now is the time for folks to get involved in any way they can to fight to save Rodney Reed from the execution chamber. We will be launching a campaign to fight against any execution date that is set and will let folks know how to get involved.

For now, we are asking folks to do a few simple things:

Like Rodney's Facebook support page - updates and plans of actions will be regularly posted there.

This fact sheet gives folks a brief outline of the fact of the case as well as pointing folks to further reading.

We will be launching a new petition soon, so keep your eyes out for that.

You can also send a card or letter of support to Rodney:

Rodney Reed

#999271

Polunsky Unit

3872 FM 350 South

Livingston, Texas, 77351

Please stay posted for further plans. This fight is not over - JUSTICE FOR RODNEY REED!

Lily Hughes,

National Director,

Campaign to End the Death Penalty