The 51-year-old is scheduled for execution later this month for a 1996 murder
Reed is scheduled for execution on November 20 for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites in Bastrop, Texas. However, new information that could potentially exonerate the 51-year-old has since arisen.
Reed, who is black, was convicted by an all-white jury in 1998.
According to a Change.org petition created to halt the pending execution, “Mountains of evidence exonerates Rodney Reed. All of that evidence was kept from the all white jury that convicted him. Instead, the evidence implicates the victim’s fiancé – local police officer Jimmy Fennell – who has a history of violence against women, including being convicted for kidnapping and sexual assault soon after Rodney was wrongly sent to prison.”
Signed by nearly 2.5 million people, including the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna, Richard Branson, Meek Mill, Pusha T, Bernie Sanders, Meek Mill and Questlove, the petition is a little over 500,000 signatures away from reaching its goal of 3 million.
In a statement posted on her website, Beyoncé wrote:
Dear [Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott,
Please take a hard look at the substantial evidence in the Rodney Reed case that points to his innocence. Be honest. Be fair. Give him back his life.
“16 days left and he will be executed for a crime he didn’t commit” Meek Mill tweeted earlier in the week (November 4). Questlove tweeted: “There is an innocent man on death row with mere days before his execution. Please take time out to sign this petition to tell @GovAbbott #FreeRodneyReed”
Bernie Sanders wrote: “We have got to join the rest of the developed world and abolish the death penalty. Too many innocent people, particularly people of color, get caught up in this unjust policy. A civilized society should not be involved in the murder of other Americans.”
See some of the other tweets below:
You can sign the petition urging Gov. Abbott to stop the execution of Rodney Reed here.