Rodney Reed: He is said to have raped and killed a young woman, and to be executed for it. Now evidence leads to suspicion of another woman. On Wednesday he was supposed to die, but now the death penalty against Rodney Reed, convicted of murder has been suspended. Was someone else the perpetrator? Celebrities even interfere in the case.
The US judiciary has for the time being suspended an execution of a man sentenced to death planned for next Wednesday. This was decided by an appeal court in the state of Texas on Friday (local time). Shortly before, the Texas panel responsible for pardons and suspended sentences had unanimously recommended a postponement of the execution after the defense had presented new evidence.
The 51-year-old African-American Rodney Reed was sentenced to death in 1998 by a white-only jury for the rape and murder of 19-year-old White Stacey Stites. He always asserted his innocence and testified that he had had an affair with the young woman. His defense attorneys state that evidence that emerged after the trial supports Reed's version and points to another suspect. The suspect is said to be the victim's fiancé - an ex-policeman who has since served a ten-year prison sentence for another rape.
Reed had received support from many celebrities, MPs and millions of US citizens. These included the son of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, reality star Kim Kardashian, and singers Rihanna and Beyoncé. Two online petitions received more than 3.5 million signatures.
Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)
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