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Businessinsider - 30 days ago

A Texas court blocked Rodney Reed s execution after Kim Kardashian West and Oprah voiced support for the death row inmate

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted death row inmate Rodney Reed an indefinite stay of execution on Friday night. Reed, who is black, was sentenced to death in the 1996 murder of a 19-year-old white woman named Stacey Stites. He has since maintained his innocence. Reed s lawyers say powerful new evidence could prove Reed s innocence, including testimony from witnesses who have come forward since the trial. Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian West, Meek Mill, and Oprah are among the celebrities who have voiced support for 51-year-old Reed. Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans also asked officials to take a closer look at the case. Visit Insider s homepage for more stories. A Texas appeals court has granted a stay of execution for Rodney Reed, a death row inmate who was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection next week. The Innocence Project, Reed s legal team, tweeted that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted an indefinite stay of execution of Friday, hours after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended delaying the execution. Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian West, Meek Mill, and Oprah are among the celebrities who have voiced support for 51-year-old Reed. Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans also asked officials to take a closer look at the case. Kardashian West said on Instagram that she was with Reed when he learned his execution would be delayed. Today, I had the honor of meeting #RodneyReed in person and the privilege of sitting with him when he got the news that the highest court in Texas had issued a stay of execution and remanded the case back to the trial court for further consideration, Kardashian West wrote on Instagram. Words cannot describe the relief and hope that swept over the room in that moment. Today, I had the honor of meeting #RodneyReed in person and the privilege of sitting with him when he got the news that the highest court in Texas had issued a stay of execution and remanded the case back to the trial court for further consideration. Words cannot describe the relief and hope that swept over the room in that moment. That hope had been building over the last few weeks around Rodney’s case. We have seen Democrats and Republicans come together. We have seen grassroots activists and lawmakers link arms. We have heard people all around the globe speak up. And all because of a deep belief that every man or woman accused of a crime - especially one punishable by death - deserves the chance to have all available evidence considered. So grateful for the commitment and passion of everyone who voiced their support, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for their recommendation to issue a 120 day reprieve, and the courts for issuing a stay! A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Nov 15, 2019 at 4:21pm PST on Nov 15, 2019 at 4:21pm PST Reed, who is black, was sentenced to death in the 1996 murder of a 19-year-old white woman named Stacey Stites. Prosecutors say Reed raped and strangled Stites as she was making her way to work in Bastrop, Texas. Reed has maintained his innocence. Reed says he was having an affair with Stites and her fiancé, former police officer Jimmy Fennell, was the real killer. He said Fennell was angry when he learned about the affair. In an appeal they filed this week, Reed s defense team say their client s due process was violated because prosecutors relied heavily on Fennell s testimony, CBS News reported. They say the testimony has been called into question since the case. Reed s lawyers say powerful new evidence could prove Reed s innocence, including testimony from witnesses who have come forward since the trial. At every turn we have asked for a hearing at which we can present the evidence, in full, of Rodney Reed s innocence, Bryce Benjet, one of Reed s lawyers, told the New York Times. So it is extremely rewarding that we can finally have a chance to fully present his case in court, so it can be determined that he did not commit this crime. Read more: The Texas parole board is recommending a delay for Rodney Reed s execution after Kim Kardashian West and Beyoncé pushed for a reprieve A teen will spend 3 months in federal prison after stealing a lemur from a zoo, stuffing him in a drawer, and abandoning him outside a hotel Powerful portraits of women serving life sentences in prison show that they are more than their crimes Kim Kardashian West is pushing for Brendan Dassey to be granted clemency in the Making a Murderer case Join the conversation about this story NOW WATCH: A 45-year-long study discovered trends in successful hyper-intelligent children

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