Tales from death row: Justice for Rodney Reed

Serendipity


Caitlin Adams is a resident of Bastrop, Texas.  After meeting the family of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed outside of their home earlier this year, she began writing with Rodney.  She has developed a friendship with Rodney's mother Sandra and his family in Bastrop, as well as making regular trips to death row to visit Rodney. 

After learning about the facts of Rodney's case, Caitlin has become an advocate for Rodney Reed – here we present the first of many blogs from Caitlin about her journey for justice:

Serendipity

By Caitlin Adams

I moved to Bastrop, TX in March of 2010 and that is the how, when and where this blog really began. 

I'll tell you a little something about myself; I don't believe in accidents.  I believe there is a purpose for everything, whether I am aware of that purpose or not.  In early December 2010, I happened to be out riding my bicycle around the neighborhood and I rode by a home that had a banner outside, "Innocent Man on Death Row: Free Rodney Reed".  

I had many reactions to seeing that sign.  I am and have always been opposed to the death penalty.  I thought about that banner often over the next few weeks.  I knew I wanted to learn more about this man, Rodney Reed, and the family who believed in his innocence.  Serendipity, and a sense that something more is going on than meets the eye, is what led me to ride down MLK that day, so I prayed to know what God might be asking of me, what purpose my seeing the banner needed to serve.  

My world was turned on it's head in October 2009 when I learned that I have an untreatable, terminal illness; ALS.  Something inside me felt connected somehow to this man's story - a death sentence sucks, sorry, but that is just plain true.  I kept praying, and one day got this answer, "If you are out riding one day and someone is outside talk to them."  

The next day I went out riding and as always I was riding without really thinking about where I was going - before I got sick used to do that on 100 mile bike rides!  I ended up on MLK and as I was riding by Rodney's home, Sandra, his mom and Rodrick, his brother were outside.  I hopped off my bike and introduced myself.  Sandra, Rodrick and I talked for almost 3 hours that day.  They spoke about Rodney, a son, brother, father, and innocent man on death row.  They spoke of the case and encouraged me to watch a documentary film, State vs Reed.  I saw a family devastated by tragedy, yet firm in their love and commitment to their loved one.  I asked what I  might be able to do to help.  

Over the next few months I got to know Rodney's family, and they got to know me.  Rodney and I began writing and getting to know each other.  I began to really study his case:  I read everything I could find, watched the documentary, State vs Reed, talked to David Fisher (an independent investigator), and read court documents.  I believe without a doubt that Rodney is an innocent man, unjustly and wrongfully convicted.  

In September of this year I began visiting Rodney weekly with his mom, other friends, or alone.  We've become good friends over these past 9 months and I am very grateful for his and his family's friendship and for this opportunity to bring attention to Rodney, his story and this egregious miscarriage of justice. I hope you, the reader, will join us in the fight for Rodney's life.