Rodney Reed was sentenced to death by the State of Texas for the kidnapping , sexual assault and murder of a woman. According to court documents Rodney Reed would kidnap Stacey Stites who was later sexually assaulted and murdered. Rodney Reed would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. There is a lot of doubt regarding whether or not Rodney Reed is responsible for this barbaric crime.
Rodney Reed 2022 Information
SID Number: 03536236
TDCJ Number: 00999271
Maximum Sentence Date: DEATH ROW
Current Facility: POLUNSKY
Projected Release Date: DEATH ROW
Parole Eligibility Date: DEATH ROW
Inmate Visitation Eligible: YES
Rodney Reed More News
More than two decades after Rodney Reed was sentenced to death for the murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites, doubts about his guilt and the role race might have played in his 1998 conviction continue to haunt this Central Texas town.
On Monday, a judge appointed to reexamine the case slammed the door on Reed’s best chance to avoid execution, releasing his findings that newly presented evidence is not enough to grant Reed a new trial.
The ruling by retired state District Judge J.D. Langley is a dramatic setback for efforts to win Reed’s freedom in a case that has spawned international attention and outrage, often cited by Reed’s supporters as an example of a Black man railroaded by an American criminal justice system.
Langley’s recommendation, issued two weeks after he heard attorneys’ final arguments at the Bastrop County courthouse, now goes to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which has the final say in the matter.
It is an explosive turn after nearly a quarter-century of court battles over the 1996 Bastrop County killing. Reed, now 53, and his supporters have long proclaimed his innocence, pointing blame at Stites’ fiance, Jimmy Fennell. Stites’ family and state attorneys remain convinced of Reed’s guilt.
Reed, a Black man, was found guilty of murdering Stites, a white woman, and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. Fennell, a white man, is a former Giddings police officer.
“The Court of Criminal Appeals has repeatedly considered [Reed’s] allegations of innocence … and found them wanting,” Langley wrote in his findings.
Langley’s rejection of a new trial comes nearly two years after Reed’s impending execution was halted among deafening calls for further review of his conviction from a bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers, numerous A-list celebrities and millions of people who signed online petitions. After years of appeals, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, ordered the trial court in 2019 to weigh whether Reed is innocent of Stites’ murder.
But the high court can still rule against Langley and grant Reed a new trial. It’s unclear when the court will make a decision.
Reed’s family was hopeful that, after spending more than 23 years on death row, Reed might finally win a new trial, his brother said last month. Langley presided over a nearly two-week hearing this summer to review claims of Reed’s innocence, and examine whether Bastrop County prosecutors withheld evidence or put false evidence before jurors.
“That’s all we ask for is a fair trial,” Rodrick Reed said outside of a Bastrop County courtroom after Langley heard closing arguments in the case. “My brother never had that from the beginning. It was a Jim Crow trial straight out of the gate.”
Reed’s attorneys said Monday that they look forward to presenting Reed’s case to Texas’ high criminal court.
“If a new jury heard the overwhelming evidence of Rodney Reed’s innocence, it would have reasonable doubts. Convicted by an all-white jury, Mr. Reed has spent 23 years on death row for a crime he did not commit,” said Jane Pucher with the Innocence Project. “We hope the Court of Criminal Appeals recognizes that he should be given a new trial.”
The two decades since Rodney Reed’s conviction have seen a simmering mix of emotion, uncertainty and accusations of racism as his appeals have wound their way through the courts.
Stites was engaged to Fennell, but Reed said he and Stites were also romantically involved.