News and Updates

Is Texas Getting Ready to Kill an Innocent Man?

Credit: Jana Birchum
Rodney Reed's parents
By: Jordan Smith
The Intercept
Thursday, November 20, 2014

On a late October night in 2007, 20-year-old Connie Lear was playing cards and drinking with friends at an apartment complex just outside Austin, Texas, when she caught her fiance playing footsie under the table with another woman. Lear stormed out; her fiance followed her to the parking lot, where they got into a shouting match. Neighbors called the police.

A hell-raiser against injustice

Credit: Noreen McNulty
Darby Tillis (right) with Gloria Johnson, the mother of pardoned former death row inmate Montell Johnson
By: Noreen McNulty
Socialist Worker
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Darby Tillis defies an easy tribute. A dear friend, confidant and mentor to many. An activist and hell-raiser against injustice. A minister and street preacher, a friend to strangers. A father, brother, uncle, cousin, husband. A musician and mean harmonica player. A wisecracker, storyteller and word-crafter.

I worked for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty's national office in the early 2000s. I had met Darby a few years earlier, running the streets of Philadelphia to protest the death sentence and imprisonment of Mumia Abu-Jamal. While working for the CEDP, Darby was a frequent visitor to our office in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. As the office administrator, I worked side by side with Darby, and he became a mentor and friend.

On the passing of Darby Tillis - a true warrior for justice!

By: Campaign to End the Death Penalty
Monday, November 10, 2014

Good morning folks,

It is with sadness that we must tell you of the passing of Darby Tilllis - our friend and comrade in the struggle for abolition of the death penalty. Darby served on the board of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty for almost two decades and his contributions to the struggle for justice and against racism are boundless. For those that can attend, we will let folks know of any plans for services and other memorials for Darby. 

Rodney Reed appeal rejected by U.S. Supreme Court

By: Chuck Lindell
Austin American Statesman
Monday, November 3, 2014

Shameful news out of the Supreme Court this morning! Rodney Reed is innocent! We must continue to fight for JUSTICE FOR RODNEY REED!

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.


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.

Death penalty panel calls for massive overhaul

Credit: Handout/Reuters
The death chamber is seen through the steel bars from the viewing room at the federal penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas
By: Meredith Clark
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

 A bipartisan panel led by a Republican and a Democrat, who together oversaw more than 50 executions, called today for an end to the lethal drug cocktail that was used in the botched execution in Oklahoma.

Bad drugs, veins and policy: Oklahoma fits a pattern of botched US executions

Clayton Lockett joins the 7% of American lethal injections gone bad. If you're looking for a reason to abolish the death penalty, the evidence is right there on the gurney

Credit: Linda Nylind for the Guardian
The drug pentobarbital before being used in a lethal injection procedure in Georgia.
By: Austin Sarat, Robert Henry Weaver and Heather Richard
The Guardian
Friday, May 2, 2014

"How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection," Justice Antonin Scaliaonce proclaimed, as he contrasted the demise of a condemned murderer with that of his victim.