Fresh doubts over a Texas execution

New evidence revives concerns that a man was wrongly put to death in 2004


Cameron Todd Willingham in 2004 just before his execution. Willingham refused to plead guilty in return for a life sentence and maintained his innocence until the day he was put to death.
By: Maurice Possley
The Washington Post
Monday, August 4, 2014

Opponents of the death penalty have long focused on questionable evidence used against Willingham, believing that his case could be the first to show conclusively that an innocent man was put to death in the modern era of capital punishment. As the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty in Kansas in 2006, Justice Antonin Scalia declared that the opposition could not cite “a single case — not one — in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit.”


Still seeking justice for Rodney Reed


By: Cindy Beringer
Socialist Worker
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The family and supporters of Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed left a July 24 rally at the Bastrop County Courthouse with buoyed hopes and renewed optimism that justice is possible for this innocent man.


Eight ex-judges support appeal of death row inmate Rodney Reed


Credit: Austin American Statesman
Sandra and Rodrick Reed
By: Chuck Lindell
Austin American Statesman
Monday, July 21, 2014

Eight retired federal and state judges on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to accept an appeal by Rodney Reed, who faces a January execution ithe 1996 rape and murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites in Bastrop County.


Stand With Texas Death Row Prisoner Rodney Reed.

DROP THE DATE! TEST ALL THE DNA!


By: Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Monday, July 14, 2014

The Campaign to End the Death Penalty, along with the family and supporters of Rodney Reed rejects the decision today to issue a death warrant for innocent Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed for January 14, 2015.

We have long believed in Rodney’s innocence and, during a hearing today in Bastrop County, we once again heard of the multitude of evidence that could prove Rodney’s innocence if given a fair hearing either through a new trial or through the appeals process.

We learned today that the state has agreed to important but limited new DNA testing of some crime scene evidence – and that the defense is asking for even more DNA testing of several other items related to the crime scene.


From Texas death row: Two cases of injustice


By: Lily Hughes

The state of Texas maintains the most active execution chamber in the nation, amid questionable practices and a host of controversial executions.

Texas has executed seven people already this year as of May 2014. The state has put at least 515 people to death since executions were reinstated in 1982, far more than any other state.

Over the last 15 years, there have been scandals at DNA labs, and revelations of judges and lawyers sleeping through portions of capital cases. Meanwhile, clear evidence of racial bias in sentencing, a lack of funding for indigent defendants and an assembly line approach to executions continue to plague the Texas system.

Despite this, the courts here are known to rubber-stamp death penalty convictions with little scrutiny. The worst offender is the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in Texas.


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