Texas Death Row News – November 16th, 2019



Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed was scheduled to be executed on November 20th 2019. On November 15th 2019, The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of execution halting the proceedings. I met Rodney Reed in 1999, at the Ellis Unit where Texas death row used to be located. We were both new to death row and were in the same recreation group together. Me and Reed have always been friends and cool with each other over the past 2O years of our respective death row experience. This is saying something significant, solitary confinement changes people and makes men who once were friends enemies over nothing. Every time I am housed close to Rodney Reed we pick up our friendship where we left off the last time we were around each other.

This past Thursday I was having a visit with one of my legal by team members when I happened to see Rodney Reed and paused my visit long enough to speak to my brother and ask him how was he holding up and was there any good news yet? He was doing as well as you can expect living through the countdown and he told me that they had gotten a lot of support including from law makers and law enforcement so it was not over and they were still waiting. I told him I was thinking of him and praying for him and to keep his head up! He told me he would and that was good to hear, being on death watch affects people in different ways but thankfully he was still in one piece. On Friday November, 15th 2O19, at 5pm I heard a news report that Rodney Reed had been given a stay of execution! The Texas Board of Pardons and Parole had recommended the Governor of Texas that Reed be given a 12O days reprieve to review new evidence in his case. Shortly after that I heard a report that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals had agreed with the Board of Pardons and Parole and had ruled in its order that Rodney Reed’s case warranted another look in light of the new evidence that had come out in his favor. I was very happy and grateful to hear this amazing news! I know that Reed’s family and supporters have been working day and night to bring about this development. Their movement was incredible, they even had mega celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Beyonce talking about Rodney Reed’s case and his innocence. Kim Kardashian is amazing. She took time to visit Rodney with one of his attorneys this past Friday. Imagine that, Kim Kardashian visiting Texas death row! That was an amazing blessing not just for Rodney Reed but for all the guys on Texas death row. This refocuses the spotlight of justice reform on capital punishment spear headed by Kim Kardashian. There are literally millions of people thinking of us and I know the thought, “If Rodney is innocent on Texas death row how many more are innocent?”, goes through everyone’s mind. It is not lost upon me the fact that Rodney got 5 days away from his scheduled execution just like I did in 2016. We both have intimate personal knowledge on what it’s like to get that close to your planned legal murder by the government in this country. It took me years to overcome the trauma and I’m still dealing with it.

Last night I listened to the Prison Show On KPFT[.org] and one of their guests was an attorney that’s part of Rodney’s legal team. Quincy McNeal told his story of how he had come across Reed’s story and how he became m involved. Mr McNeal also gave specific legal information on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals order remanding Reed’s case to the lower court. He reported that 3 issues were granted: #1] actual innocence claim; *2] Brady violation — suppressed evidence being that the police were aware of  specific information that should have been turned over to Reed’s attorneys; #3] false testimony – that is Jimmy Fennell confessing to his prison cell mate that he killed his fiancée, not Rodney Reed! That is amazing, Reed has the Innocence Project representing him so we believe that when he wins a new trial there is no way he will be convicted again. After 2O+ years, Rodney Reed will at last be exonerated and walk out the court room a free man! That dream and ultimate goal in life is one me and Rodney have shared for over two decades and now have it within reach!

NEWSFLASH! Last night a friend went to visit and saw Rodney Reed and was told that the State of Texas is appealing the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decision to a higher court. Because of this Rodney Reed remains on death watch. The powers that be have decreed that until the state’s appeal is ruled upon Rodney Reed stays on death watch. Stay tuned!