Rodney Reed has been on loss of life row in Texas since 1998 for a criminal offense he’s at all times stated he didn’t commit. This yr, he’ll be spending his birthday and vacation season in jail for the twenty fourth yr in a row. Although Mr. Reed will probably be aside from his household but once more, his ideas are with the a whole lot of hundreds of people that have come to assist his case lately.
“I recognize everybody, and I need everyone to remain secure,” stated Mr. Reed, when requested what message he desires to share together with his supporters. Mr. Reed was convicted of the 1996 homicide of a white girl named Stacey Stites, with whom he had a consensual relationship, in Bastrop, Texas. He has at all times maintained his innocence.
Send Mr. Reed a birthday message
Rising up, Mr. Reed would spend his birthday and Christmas (simply three days aside) together with his 5 brothers, sharing all their toys and items with each other. He has fond recollections of going from one member of the family’s home to the following and tasting home-cooked dishes — his favorites had been his father’s giblet gravy and his aunt’s pecan pie.
“So long as we had been all collectively, the vacations had been particular,” stated Mr. Reed. “It was at all times simply particular to be along with household and pals, simply breaking bread collectively and having fun with one another’s time. Doing that even on any given day of the week — it didn’t need to be a vacation — was particular.”
Mr. Reed stated the toughest a part of spending the vacations wrongly imprisoned has been lacking out on seeing his youngsters develop up and creating recollections with them like those he has from his personal childhood.
“So long as we had been all collectively, the vacations had been particular.”
“I do know that them rising up with out me of their lives has been tough on them, however after I see the energy that they’ve in life, it’s all good,” he stated.
Regardless of lacking out on one other collection of celebrations together with his household, Mr. Reed has hope.
“After I see [the strength] of their eyes and the grins on [my children’s] faces — I do know it’s good. It form of boosts me up,” he stated.
Simply forward of his birthday, on Dec. 17, Mr. Reed’s authorized staff filed a request for grant of utility for Writ of Habeas Corpus, which states that the prosecution illegally hid favorable proof at his 1998 trial and dedicated a Brady violation — a breach of the constitutional requirement that the prosecution flip over favorable proof to the protection.
The applying states that the prosecution hid proof of Mr. Reed and Ms. Stites’ consensual relationship earlier than her loss of life. On the time of Mr. Reed’s trial, prosecutors claimed that “not one” particular person might affirm their relationship; nonetheless, proof that the State withheld for greater than 20 years exhibits that at the very least three of Ms. Stites’ co-workers gave statements to legislation enforcement and the prosecution that Mr. Reed and Ms. Stites knew one another and had been, in Ms. Stites’ personal phrases, “good pals,” earlier than his trial. Moreover, prosecutors hid experiences from Ms. Stites’ neighbor about violent home arguments between Ms. Stites and her fiancé Jimmy Fennell, a police officer who was the prime suspect in her homicide for almost a yr.
Mr. Reed’s utility remains to be pending, and his destiny stays unsure, however he stated he continues to attract energy from the recollections of his grandfather, who was a World Conflict II veteran, and his grandmother, whom he described as “the spine of the household” and his greatest good friend all through his childhood.
As he continues his struggle for justice, ship him a birthday want or vacation message and let him know he’s not alone.