Justice for Rodney Reed

By: Stephanie Collins

Rodney Reed, who has been on Texas death row for the nine years, recently won a significant ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA).

Rodney was convicted in 1996 of killing Stacey Stites. The evidence against him at the time was flimsy at best, and since his conviction, witnesses have come forward to testify in Rodney’s behalf.

On June 6, the CCA asked for briefs from both the defense and prosecutorial sides on questions of actual innocence. The CCA will review the briefs, but there is absolutely no time limit in which they have to make a decision.

The ruling by the CCA is encouraging. It could have flatly denied Rodney’s claims, which would have moved him closer to the execution gurney. The fact that they are willing to take a second look as to whether or not his trial was conducted fairly is a good sign.

But we are far from winning justice for Rodney. We need to keep up the pressure. As his mother, Sandra Reed, said recently, “We have gotten as far as we have in the courts for Rodney because we haven’t stopped marching, organizing and doing all we can to win justice for Rodney.”