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Society & Culture  (tags: Texas, death penalty, Rodney Reed, wrongful conviction, new investigation, Dead Again, investigation, leading forensic pathologists, affidavits, scientific testimony inaccurate, new appeal, Innocence Project, stay his execution, overturn conviction )

- 1554 days ago -
Kevin Gannon, retired NYPD detective, spent just 10 minutes looking at official documents re: case of Rodney Reed -slated for Texas execution March 5- before concluding something was very, very wrong. Gannon part of 3-cop team on true-crime Dead Again ..


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LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 10:52 am
The case of the disappearing title!! TY, C2...

“Oh My God, This is Way Off”: New Investigation Shows Texas is Likely Set to Kill An Innocent Man

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 12:36 pm
From the Intercept, 16/02/2015 - “Oh My God, This is Way Off”: New Investigation Shows Texas is Likely Set to Kill An Innocent Man

Kevin Gannon, a retired detective sergeant with the New York Police Department, spent just 10 minutes looking at official documents related to the case of Rodney Reed — slated for execution in Texas on March 5 — before concluding that something was very, very wrong.

It was October 2014 and Gannon was working as part of a three-cop team featured on the A&E channel true-crime show Dead Again. The program follows the trio of veteran detectives as they reinvestigate old murder cases. The team approaches the cases cold, not knowing what original police investigators concluded — or who was arrested and prosecuted in the end. Sometimes, Gannon says, he and his colleagues end up agreeing with the official outcome. Sometimes, they do not.

In this case, the investigators were probing the 1996 murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites in a rural town in Central Texas. Gannon was given the autopsy report, crime scene photos and video, and police reports. “The first thing I remember [thinking] is, ‘Oh my god, this is way off,’” he told The Intercept. “I knew it was wrong.” He went to talk to his producer and, by 7 p.m. that night, was sitting across from Reed’s Innocence Project lawyer, Bryce Benjet. Today, Gannon is among a number of people who are convinced the state of Texas is preparing to execute an innocent man.

Gannon’s reinvestigation of the Reed case will be shown in Monday night’s episode of Dead Again. (Full disclosure: I was interviewed about my reporting by A&E.) At the same time, Gannon’s conclusions, along with those of three of the country’s leading forensic pathologists who have studied the case, are at the heart of a new appeal on Reed’s behalf, filed on Thursday, Feb. 12. The appeal argues that new scientific evidence proves conclusively that the state’s theory of the murder is “medically and scientifically impossible,” and that Reed is, in fact, innocent.

Specifically, Gannon and the forensic experts have concluded that the state’s timeline for Stites’ death is off by several hours. They contend that the decomposing of Stites’ body — observed in crime scene photos and video — prove that she was murdered at least four hours earlier than the state claims. Moreover, they conclude that she was likely killed somewhere far from where her body was found.

The findings are significant. Both the timeline and the location of the murder have been central to the state’s theory of the case since the beginning. What’s more, the new revelations contained in the defense brief point to a different man, a man who has long been suspected by Reed’s supporters to be the real murderer, and who was the source of the police and prosecutors’ timeline from the start. That man is Stites’ former fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, Jr., a rookie police officer at the time of her death, who testified that he was alone with Stites on the night before she was found murdered.

Reed’s lawyers are now asking Texas’ highest criminal court to stay his execution and overturn his conviction. Andrew MacRae, one of Reed’s attorneys, told reporters at a press conference last week, “Ultimately, we’re convinced that Mr. Reed will be found innocent if given a new, and fair, trial.”

STITES’ PARTIALLY-CLOTHED BODY was found just after 3 p.m. on April 23, 1996. She had been reported missing that morning after she failed to show up for a 3:30 a.m. shift at a local grocery store. Fennell’s truck, which she’d allegedly driven to work from her home in Giddings, Texas, nearly 30 miles away, was found in a high school parking lot roughly 10 miles from where her body was dumped.

Her murder went unsolved for nearly a year before cops, acting on a hunch, compared semen DNA found inside her to 29-year-old Rodney Reed, collected in connection with an unrelated, earlier case of alleged sexual assault. It was a match, and Reed was charged with Stites’ murder. The state claimed that he had somehow encountered and overpowered Stites as she drove to work that morning, then raped and murdered her, discarding her body in the woods. Although he initially denied knowing Stites, Reed eventually admitted that he had been having an ongoing, secret and consensual sexual relationship with Stites. The last time he had sex with her, he has said, was nearly two days before her body was found.

Aside from the fact that Reed is black and Stites was white — an interracial relationship that in a small Texas town could itself be dangerous — there was another reason Reed would not have revealed the affair: Stites was engaged to a white police officer, Jimmy Fennell. If exposed, the couple’s dangerous affair could become a deadly one.

Reed’s defenders have long maintained that Reed was set up by Fennell for his fianceé’s murder, likely after Fennell found out about the illicit relationship. In a recent article about the case, The Intercept chronicled Fennell’s history of violence, including allegations of stalking and rape. Indeed, Fennell is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence for kidnapping and sexually assaulting a woman while on duty and in uniform. That woman publicly revealed her identity to The Intercept for the first time in the hopes that she might save the life of Reed, who she believes to be innocent.

The new appeal seeks to fill gaps in the police investigation and trial defense that have haunted Reed’s case since the start. At trial, prosecutors argued that Reed’s DNA was the “Cinderella’s slipper” in the case, a direct link between Reed and Stites’ murder. Defense attorneys promised to show evidence of the affair, which would explain the DNA, but failed to call witnesses who could have done so.

In the new appeal, Reed’s lawyers offer affidavits from two of Stites’ grocery store coworkers who were never questioned by police about the murder. Both say they knew that Reed and Stites were in a relationship. Alicia Slater, who was still in high school at the time, says that while eating lunch together in the break room one day, Stites told Slater that she was having an affair with “a black guy named Rodney, and that she didn’t know what her fiancé would do if he found out,” Slater said in her affidavit. Slater said the exchange took place shortly before Stites was murdered. She did not tell police about the conversation because she wanted to leave Bastrop and was nervous about getting involved.

“I knew Jimmy Fennell was a cop and didn’t trust the police in Bastrop,” Slater said. “If I said something to accuse a police officer, I was afraid there would be repercussions for my family.” But after reading in November that Reed’s execution was imminent, Slater decided she had to come forward. She contacted Benjet.

The second coworker, Lee Roy Ybarra, told Reed’s lawyers that he had seen Reed and Stites together at the grocery store several times, behaving affectionately. But when Fennell would come in to visit Stites, he said, she would be a “nervous wreck” and would even “deliberately hide so that she didn’t have to talk to him.”

Even more damning for the state’s case — and for Fennell — are the medical affidavits at the center of the new appeal. According to three renowned forensic pathologists, Werner Spitz, Michael Baden and LeRoy Riddick, there is no way that Stites was killed in the early morning hours of April 23, as the state of Texas has always insisted.

Instead, they agree, Stites was killed well before midnight and then dumped in the woods early that morning. The pathologists explain that at death, blood no longer circulates and gravity leads it to pool under the skin in the lowest parts of the body. This becomes visible in the form of “lividity,” dark marks that resemble deep bruises on the skin. Stites was found on her back with her arms splayed above her head. But crime scene photos reveal widespread areas of reddish-purple lividity on the front of her body — on her face, right arm and hand, and chest. Lividity takes at least four hours to set. The pathologists say this means Stites was killed and then left for at least four hours in a position where she was slumped forward, with her one arm stretched out and down, before her body was abandoned in the woods.

The conclusions completely contradict the claims made by Fennell to police. Fennell says Stites left their apartment around 3 a.m. in order to drive to work. The night before, Fennell told police, he and Stites were together, alone in their apartment from 8 p.m. on. From the start, the state’s entire case has rested firmly on the timeline constructed by Fennell. Police never even searched the couple’s apartment.

The appeal contains more medical evidence to undermine Reed’s conviction. At trial, the Austin medical examiner, along with a crime scene analyst, asserted that the semen found inside Stites, which contained three intact sperm, had to have been deposited recently, within 24 hours of her death. This bolstered the state’s claim that Reed raped Stites just before her murder. But this trial testimony was scientifically inaccurate, say the forensic pathologists included in the new appeal. Not only can sperm remain intact inside the vaginal cavity for days, the fact that few sperm were found in this case actually supports Reed’s contention that he’d had sex with Stites nearly two days before she was found.

In fact, even Dr. Roberto Bayardo, the former Austin medical examiner who testified for the state at Reed’s trial, has recanted his original testimony. He says that his claims about the sperm were inaccurate and he could not actually pinpoint Stites’ time of death.

In sum, the doctors agree that the state’s case is untenable. “It is…my opinion, beyond a reasonable degree of medical certainty that, based on all of the forensic evidence, Mr. Reed is scheduled to be executed for a crime that he did not commit,” Michael Baden, former New York City chief medical examiner, said in his affidavit.

As the March 5 execution date nears, the case is now in the hands of Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals. Reed’s lawyers are asking that the court grant a stay of execution in order to consider the new medical evidence. Reed’s lawyers are also appealing a lower court’s decision in November to deny Reed’s request for additional DNA testing in the case. The lawyers had asked that a judge order testing of never-before-tested items of evidence — including two lengths of a braided belt that the state says were used to strangle Stites. Attorney MacRae says he hopes the court will act quickly to avert an irrevocable miscarriage of justice.

“I would hope that the state would want to execute someone only after knowing” the person is actually guilty, he said. But in the Reed case, the state seems to want “to rush the execution date before we can get to the evidence of Reed’s innocence.”

For A&E’s Gannon, the case against Rodney Reed is deeply unnerving — and the diminishing window of time left to right the wrong disturbing. After his own investigation, he says he is convinced not only that Reed is innocent, but also that he knows who is responsible for Stites’ murder. “For me, it’s obvious,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, the murderer is Jimmy Fennell, the boyfriend. I can’t see it being anybody else.”

[There are links in the text on the Intercept site, linked to above]

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 12:59 pm
A growing number of organisations and individuals support Rodney Reed, his family and friends.
This includes The Innocence Project, National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), Campaign to end the Death Penalty (CEDP), Texas Defender Service (TDS), The Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, SAVE.




Gov. Greg Abbott
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Contact form:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
P. O. Box 13401
Austin, Texas 78711-3401

"To the attention of Governor Abbott and Members of Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles

I am writing this letter to ask clemency for Rodney Reed, scheduled to be executed on March 5th, 2015. As a citizen concerned by fairness and justice, I am surprised that M. Reed could be executed despite the mounting evidence of his innocence in the murder of Stacey Stites.

I understand that the original medical examiner in Rodney's case has changed his opinion as to the time of death, and that three respected forensic pathologists who recently reviewed the evidence are now concluding that she was likely killed long before she was alleged to have been abducted and killed by Rodney on her way to work on April 23, 1996. I also understand that there is now extremely persuasive evidence that the crime was in fact committed by Stites' fiance, an early suspect and former police officer who is currently in prison for kidnapping and improper sexual contact with a person in custody.

Finally, I understand there are now two of the victim's former co-workers who corroborate Rodney's claims that he was having a clandestine romantic relationship with her and that the relationship may have been kept private because it was an interracial relationship in a small town and because the victim was engaged.

With so much doubt around who the true perpetrator of this crime is, it appears that there is a strong risk of executing a possibly innocent man. Please help ensure that a proper comprehensive review of this case is done -- or else grant clemency.

Let me please stand firmly on the side of all the Texan citizens who think that no innocent person should be executed in the State of Texas. My thoughts go to the victim's family as well as to the family of M. Reed. No justice will be served by executing an innocent man.

Please do not rush to execute a man who could be innocent. An injustice to one would be an injustice to all."


Rodney Reed is scheduled to be executed in Texas on 5 March. He was sentenced to death in 1998 for a murder he says he did not commit. Three leading forensic experts have added their voices to the serious doubts about the reliability of his conviction. .../...


Please write immediately in English or your own language, referencing inmate No. 999271 in your appeals:

 => Calling for clemency for Rodney Reed;
 => Noting the new expert and other evidence supporting his consistent claim of innocence;
 => Noting the irrevocable nature of the death penalty and the repeated errors discovered in US capital cases.


=> Clemency Section, Board of Pardons and Paroles
8610 Shoal Creek Blvd., Austin, Texas 78757-6814, USA
Fax: 512 467 0945
Salutation: Dear Board members

=> Governor Greg Abbott
Office of the Governor, P.O. Box 12428 Austin, Texas 78711-2428, USA
Phone: 512 463 2000
Fax: 512 463 1849
Salutation: Dear Governor

Please let us know if you took action so that we can track our impact! EITHER send a short email to with "UA 39/15 " in the subject line, and include in the body of the email the number of letters and/or emails you sent, OR fill out this short online form

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 1:22 pm
=> 'Save Rodney Reed' campaign -

including latest events, demonstrations, videos & documents, such as:

"What former US judges say"

"In a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014, eight retired judges recently asked the Court to review the case of Rodney Reed. The judges did not take a stance on Reed's innocence claims but urged the Court to hear his appeal so that new evidence in the case could be examined under the light of cross-examination in a full hearing, rather than just through the review of legal papers. "That is not how our system of justice is designed to operate," the judges said. "When courts have only affidavits without witness testimony, they lack the means of testing the accuracy, reliability, competence, scientific acumen, proper training and judgment of the [person testifying]." Reed is claiming that his trial lawyers did not adequately investigate forensic evidence that experts now say might be unreliable. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected Reed's appeal because they found the new testimony unpersuasive as presented in appellate briefs. The eight judges who petitioned the Supreme Court said the evidence should have been heard by a district judge in an hearing. The brief says: "The need for a hearing and live witness testimony is especially vital in evaluating ineffective assistance of counsel claims. As Petitioner's case demonstrates, ineffective assistance claims "often involve complex factual considerations" for which there is a great "benefit from an evidentiary hearing, in which the Court can access the credibility of witnesses during live testimony and cross-examination" "

The judges on the amicus brief are:

. Charles F. Baird, Former Associate Judge, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (1991-1999).
. U. W. Clemon, Former Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (1980-2006; Chief Judge 1999-2006).
. Oliver E. Diaz, Jr. Former Justice, Mississippi Supreme Court (2000-2008); Former Judge, Mississippi Court of Appeals (1994-2000).
. W. Thomas Dillard, Former United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee (1976-1978).
. W. Royal Furgeson, Former Judge, United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas (2008-2013); Former Judge, United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (1994-2008).
. Stephen M. Orlofsky, Former Judge, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1996-2003); Former Magistrate Judge, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1976-1980).
. H. Lee Sarokin, Former Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1994-1996); Former Judge, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1979-1994).
. Sol Wachtler, Former Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1972- 1992; Chief Judge, 1985-1992); Former Judge, New York State Supreme Court (1968-1972).

=> 11/26/2014, the Intercept - "Texas Denies DNA Testing in Death Row Case of Rodney Reed"

=> November 3, 2014, - Rodney Reed's appeal rejected by US Supreme Court

=> Documentary on YouTube - "State vs. Reed: A Question of Justice on Texas' Death Row" (Full Film: Revised 2013)

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 1:39 pm - Campaign to End the Death Penalty - Stop the Execution of Rodney Reed!

Free Rodney Reed/Justice for Rodney Reed - Call in for Justice: Participate in the National Call-In day on Friday, February 20!:
National call-in days show the Governor and Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) that all eyes are on Texas and there is widespread support for Rodney. The Campus Campaign to Save Rodney has made a very useful handout with sample scripts that anyone can use.

Governor Abbott can be reached at 1-512-463-1782 and the Board of Pardons and Paroles Clemency Section can be reached at 1-512-406-5852.
Individual BPP members’ phone numbers are listed on the sample scripts page.-

Patrick Donovan (344)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 3:01 pm
Lucy, thank you for the links e-mail addresses.

JL A (281)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 3:22 pm
Lucy--thanks so much for ensuring we can try to make a difference for this man.

Sheila D (194)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 4:08 pm
Thanks Lucy for getting this important case out for us to see and for the email links...signed petition.

Sheila D (194)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 4:23 pm
Thank you to JL for forwarding this.

Ted W (127)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 4:24 pm
Noted, forwarded shared ultra-liberally! Thats a really rough part of the might say racist! Thanks
LucyKaleido ScopeEyes for posting!

Barbara K (61)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 4:38 pm
Thank you for all this info and I hope that justice can save this man's life. Innocent people should never be executed.

SusanAWAY A (219)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 4:51 pm
Noted and shared.

Texas has just about, if not, the highest execution rate of any state in the United States. Executing someone who is innocent is nothing new for Texas; and especially, with their evangelical governor, Rick Perry, nothing is likely to change. After all, he feels as though he's been anointed to do god's work.

I dont' think it would matter what evidence came forward and from whom at this point. The more that comes out about his innocence, the faster Texas will execute. It's just the way it is in Texas and it's not much better in the rest of the United States.

I personally, do not believe in the death penalty for any reason. Obviously executions are not a deterrent to crime or we'd be crime free in America.

Eric Holder, our current Attorney General, is advocating for a moratorium on the death penalty. I doubt seriously whether it will go anywhere.

Click to read and share the full article.

Lynn Squance (235)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 5:05 pm
This is absolutely insane and yet another reason why the death penalty should be abolished. Gov Greg Abbott, hard core Republicanus/Teabaggerum bigot that he is should be charged with murder if he goes ahead and sanctions the execution. What is there to lose by the courts re-examining the evidence other than Reed's precious life? The initial investigation clearly was flawed. And it is further flawed by the courts at various levels refusing to re-evaluate the evidence. The fact that Fennel has subsequently violently raped other women and is doing prison time for it, should be clear evidence that further investigation is warranted.

This execution, no MURDER, cannot be allowed to happen.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 5:36 pm
Many thanks Lucy and Judi for the fwd. Am still searching for "the emai links" -? I see only ONE provided, that's for the BPP-what about others?? The Governor? Will email BPP but would prefer at least ne more email address-?

Angelika R (143)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 5:37 pm petition signed of course..thx

Angelika R (143)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 6:17 pm
We can also use these additionally: ( I am registering my opinion. (No response required.)

Brenda P (125)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 7:27 pm

LaurenBackSoon Kozen (173)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 7:33 pm
Another innocent man on death row. Absolutely horrible.
Noted, Signed petition & Shared.
Also bookmarked page & copied email links. Thanks for posting Lucy.

Ingrid A (524)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 8:25 pm
Signed petition about this.

Edith B (146)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 9:08 pm
Signed the petition and shared it.

cynthia l (207)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 9:42 pm
So much wrong with this. I signed 1652 more signatures needed at
thx JLA for sending this info

Athena F (131)
Thursday February 19, 2015, 11:44 pm
thank you

Leslie Stanick (102)
Friday February 20, 2015, 12:17 am
I will write a letter tomorrow morning. This is a horrific aberration of justice and the case must be re-examined.

Sarah Dyson (139)
Friday February 20, 2015, 12:37 am
Noted. I live here. I know. Texas is the worst state to do time in. Once you are in, you are in. I have signed the petition at I can only hope and pray that if this man is indeed innocent he will get a new trial.

Evelyn B (63)
Friday February 20, 2015, 1:34 am
Something so very wrong - yes, signed etc
Angie's link Office of the Governor needs a US address
But Abbott Governor Contact Us doesn't ...

Ed Site Issues V (198)
Friday February 20, 2015, 2:28 am
S&N, Thanks

Pamylle G (458)
Friday February 20, 2015, 2:58 am
Signed the petition...heartbreaking.

Angelika R (143)
Friday February 20, 2015, 3:02 am
Evelyn, thx for the correction!
@ Laura - the incumbent governor is Greg Abbot who took office on January 20, 2015, Perry outserved his terms. It is for that reason I believe there actually is a chance for this new governor in office to start off doing the right thing and not just follow in line his predecessors as for execution records. Despite being a repub, it is worth the try.

Finally, I think the shorter, but succinct a letter to officials, the better chance it has to even be read.

Friday February 20, 2015, 5:43 am
Action completed.....cannot allow this to happen.....thanks for sharing.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday February 20, 2015, 6:17 am
Please, PLEASE, folks, DON'T LIMIT your action to signing the petition - THAT ISN'T ENOUGH!!

Personal letters & e-mails will make a GREATER IMPACT!

Angelika, don't know which e-mail links are missing for you! Thought I put everything in..

The 'sample' letter I posted above, preceded by the addresses of, respectively, Gov. Greg Abbott, Office of the Governor & the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, comes from the 'Save Rodney Reed' campaign - You have to scroll down quite a lot to get to the sample letter preceded by the following addresses, which I also posted above @ 12:59 pm:

They are under the heading-
=> 'How you can help Rodney Reed' :

PLEASE SEND NOW an email to ask clemency for Rodney Reed -- Write your own or copy and paste the text below: The sample letter I posted above is here, preceded by the addresses -

Gov. Greg Abbott
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Contact form:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
P. O. Box 13401
Austin, Texas 78711-3401

You have to scroll down beyond quite a lot of text & documents, past 'the case summary' & several embedded videos; past the audio extract of Jimmy Fennell's rape victim giving testimony of her ordeal (how she believes that Jimmy Fennell could have murdered Stacey Stites and how terrified she is, that he might kill her when he gets out of prison [Full 22-minute interview on YouTube hereunder title, "Woman Raped by Texas Cop Believes Wrong Man on Death Row"]; past -

=> "What members of the victim's family say"

11 MEMBERS of the FAMILY of THE VICTIM Stacey Stites SUPPORT the plea for justice of Rodney Reed. Here is (sic) some of their views (from clemency letters they wrote to the Governor - Find out more)

=> What independent witnesses say

Trina Hola, from Bastrop, TX, gave this reason to sign the ( petition in support of Rodney Reed:

"Stacy Stites was a personal friend to my family. Knew Stacy for a long time. Went to the same church and were in the same youth group together. I DO NOT believe Mr. Reed did this! FREE RODNEY REED!!!"

past 'What Rodney Reed's family says'; past 'What his friends say'; past 'What former US judges say'; & finally, past 'What President Obama has recently said', before you get to 'How you can help Rodney Reed'

As of TODAY, the 'Save Rodney Reed' campaign has embedded at the very top, a NEW VIDEO from Hawaiian KITV that features Rodney Reed speaking from Death Row. Their title is "I'M NOT Giving up, I HAVE MY HOPE AND I HAVE MY FAITH"; the TV news titles 'Fight to Stay Alive,' and the anchors & their Texas correspondent do not neglect the fact that many are opposed to his execution, believe he is innocent, and the countless vigils & protests (that Rodney Reed cannot see or hear) taking place both "across the state" and outside the maximum security prison in Livingston, Texas, "better known as Death Row," where Reed has lived --"in a CAGE" that is filmed-- for the past 17 years. His remarks include that he has "watched the last four or five guys leave here..."

What excrutiating torture! How to maintain one's sanity??

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday February 20, 2015, 6:22 am
Ooops! Hope the link comes out now:

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles
P. O. Box 13401
Austin, Texas 78711-3401

=> ALSO --- You can contact Rodney Reed by email via (1$) or by snail mail:

Rodney R Reed
Polunksy Unit
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston TX 77351

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday February 20, 2015, 6:31 am
It is IMPOSSIBLE to create a link for the Microsoft Office Outlook e-mail window that opens when you click the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles e-mail address on 'Save Rodney Reed' campaign site.

You just have to go there & scroll down! Not difficult.

James Maynard (84)
Friday February 20, 2015, 7:41 am
Signed and noted.

Dotti L (85)
Friday February 20, 2015, 7:59 am
Noted and signed.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Friday February 20, 2015, 9:24 am
Not necessary to go to the 'Save Rodney Reed' campaign site for the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles' e-mail address link!

All I did was copy the address as I posted it -- -- and then paste it into the address space on my e-mail form. Worked perfectly!


Past Member (0)
Friday February 20, 2015, 9:56 am
Signed thanks

Sheryl G (359)
Friday February 20, 2015, 11:38 am
I recall how hard we on C2 as well as many others on FB, various agencies, people standing outside the prison did our up most best to save Troy Davis life in Georgia to no avail. He too had a lot of doubt to his guilt and most likely was an innocent man......but in the end......the State went ahead and executed him. What a dark mark on a Country that is suppose to stand for Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

The only Justice is for those who can "buy" it.......are rich enough to afford to get the truth and justice out there. If not, you'll sit and rot in prison or get executed........innocent or not. Is why I am against the death penalty, too many are executed to simply get them out of the way.

Poor people sent to prison all the time for minor infractions.......the uber rich just keep on doing the crimes and keep on keeping on. Raking everyone over the coals, tax dodging, money laundering, stealing, the list is large but they continue on.

There is no Justice in the USA anymore.......there is a Prison Industrial Complex and one can only hope that it isn't anything they get caught up in. People who fail to pay a traffic ticket because they are too poor to do so is a reason to end up in jail. They loose their jobs because of it, can't pay it because of that, then fees are added onto it for late fees, interest, these private debt collection companies add their fees onto it......person has even a higher bill and goes back to prison. You can end up serving a long long long time for a traffic ticket. You can end up dead for doing nothing........

I signed......but it's Texas. Texas is notorious for executions........more than any other State that still executes.

SuSanne P (193)
Friday February 20, 2015, 2:16 pm
Thank you dearest Lucy, with the BEAUTIFUL eyes! Heartbreaking. I will definitely sign as well as send a few letters. Thank you for making it so easy, and sharing an opportunity to "try" and right another wrong.

SuSanne P (193)
Friday February 20, 2015, 2:24 pm
I appreciate every detail you shared (as always) to make so many options available to us, and realize this will take me several hours. Thank you for the opportunity to be heard. I don't want to say anything about Texas as to disrespect anyone who has ties, but ????.

Angelika R (143)
Friday February 20, 2015, 5:52 pm
Thanks for contacting us! We will get in touch with you shortly. - See more at:

All letters sent to both, the BPP and to the 2 addresses for the governor. Will also report to AI now.
Yes Lucy, I found what I was looking for as mentioned above. Had overlooked the contact address you gave before but couldn't use that one anyway.
I also want to correct my comment from 3:02 am where I am addressing "Laura",- my bad, sorry, that should of course go to Susan Allen .

Fred Jackson (85)
Saturday February 21, 2015, 1:23 am
And to think I left the Great State of Texas and moved to Canada. What was I thinking? Doh!

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Saturday February 21, 2015, 2:45 am

I did the same as you, Angelika - sent the letter as an e-mail to the BPP & the 2 addresses for the governor. I made a few changes to the letter each time.

It's REALLY important NOT to LIMIT your action to the petition!

Personal letters & PERSONAL letters sent via E-MAIL will make a GREATER IMPACT!

Very sad to be reminded about Troy Davis!
Of course, you're right, Dandelion... but as soon as I read the name Troy Davis & what you say about everything we did to try & save him, I had a sinking feeling in my abdomen.

Fortunately, I had already done what needed to be done. I could never have done it with the necessary enthusiasm and energy if I had thought about Troy Davis. Poor man, poor family!


For once, there is a demonstration planned in Paris on March 4: I'm going!!

Did you see, Angelika, there's one scheduled in Berlin on March 1st? -
MARCH 1ST -- International Support for RODNEY REED IN BERLIN, GERMANY --

Will you go?

I listened to the audio of Fennell's victim on You Tube, the link to which I posted in an earlier comment @Friday February 20, 2015, 6:17 am. It is COMPELLING! The article I posted states: "That woman publicly revealed her identity to The Intercept for the FIRST TIME in the hopes that she might SAVE THE LIFE of REED, who she believes to be INNOCENT." But it is in a previous article that you find out her name is Connie Lear & she was only 20 the night she was assaulted by Fennell : "Is Texas Getting Ready to Kill An Innocent Man?".

Ulane V (48)
Saturday February 21, 2015, 1:16 pm

Barb SiteIssues V (202)
Saturday February 21, 2015, 2:15 pm
Signed, Noted, Thank you

Judy C (91)
Saturday February 21, 2015, 7:07 pm
Message sent to Governor, e-mail to Parole & Pardons Board, petition signed. Documentation sent to Amnesty International via survey.

This case is heartbreaking. I oppose the State killing anyone, even the guilty. Thanks Lucy, and thanks to J.L. for sharing this information with me.

Judy C (91)
Saturday February 21, 2015, 7:13 pm
Also, Tweeted The Intercept article.

Angelika R (143)
Sunday February 22, 2015, 11:09 am
I composed my own letter in both cases, those sample scripts there are WAY TOO LONG to be read by them and if they keep getting what appears identical it will get deleted.
I think it is sufficient to pick out some key elements and emphasize those and of course stress both the clemency (BPP) and the temporary reprieve (Goov.)
And Lucy is correct, it's a good idea to send our emails/letters every (other)day. Or at least more than once.

Lucy, as for going to Pariser Platz, I think about it, not sure yet if I can make it.

froudji thommes (36)
Monday February 23, 2015, 5:30 am
Could signed the petition (some other are password protected), and I noted the article: scary!!!

Pat B (356)
Monday February 23, 2015, 4:37 pm
This just in:
Rodney Reed’s execution stayed by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Rodney Reed’s execution, scheduled for next week, has been put on hold.

According to the court order postponing Reed’s execution for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, Reed’s new defense team has newly discovered evidence that supports his claims of innocence and there is new “scientific evidence” that establishes his “probable innocence.”

Read Here:


Pat B (356)
Monday February 23, 2015, 4:54 pm
“We’re happy about the stay, but we’re still fighting to free Rodney Reed,” said Rodrick Reed. “The fight goes on, but the stay is wonderful, great news and is a step in the direction we’re trying to get.”

In briefs filed by attorneys MacRae and Bryce Benjet, an attorney with The Innocence Project, the defense lists several flaws in the case against Reed and new pieces of evidence that could prove his innocence.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 4:22 am
Thank you, Pat B! Great news! Yes, the struggle isn't over, but at least the worst is -at least, temporarily- blocked!

I am convinced that Rodney Reed is innocent! "Reed was a black man having an affair in a small Texas town with a white woman who was engaged to a white police officer" (as the Guardian points out on Feb 17th 2015, writing about his lawyers' new appeal & push for re-trial). And he was convicted by an all-white jury --and we all know what THAT means!

Besides that, what, for me, is really overwhelming proof of Reed's innocence is the fact that the rape that preceded victim Stacey Stites' murder was NOT vaginal! The medical examiner found no signs of vaginal rape, but ANAL RAPE. And Reed's sperm WAS found in the victim Stacey Stites' vaginal cavity! She was having an affair with him, so it is totally logical that there were no signs of vaginal rape; the medical examiner wrote "there was "no indication" that Reed's sperm was "placed there in any fashion other than consensually,"" whereas the anal rape, that left no spermatozoa, was committed with a "rod-like instrument, such as a police baton." Doesn't that say it all??

A violent, jealous fiancé -- Fennell -- would have wanted to hurt Stites, the woman who was 'cheating on' him with a Black man! Since their affair was known about by quite a few people, why assume that Fennell had not found out? And being a policeman, he'd have had a police baton to torture her with! The prosecutors & judges never took into consideration the fact that the rape was an anal rape perpetrated with the objective to harm & hurt & torture this young woman. Reed had no reason to want to hurt this woman! He had no motive.

The new evidence submitted in the 2012 appeal included these facts, so it WAS compelling, but 'somehow' failed to convince the appeals judge! The appeal was rejected, when it should have overturned his conviction and/or triggered a decision for re-trial & put an end to Reed's continued imprisonment:

For one thing, the appeals judge refused to believe that an affair between the victim & Reed was 'credible'! ("two of Stites’ grocery store coworkers ... were never questioned by police about the murder. Both [now] say they knew that Reed and Stites were in a relationship." {the Intercept}; but "Ms. Kay, a well-respected bail bondswoman in Bastrop, filed an affidavit attesting to the relationship" for the 2012 appeal {})

In time for the 2012 appeal, the Medical Examiner who'd testified at Rodney Reed's trial, Roberto "Bayardo ... said in a three-page declaration that EACH ELEMENT of the state's medical case was wrong."

Back in August 2012, "Former Travis County Medical Examiner Roberto Bayardo sa[id] his testimony in the 1998 capital trial of Rodney Reed ... was misconstrued by prosecutors to suggest a solid timeline for Stites' death, and to prove that Reed had sexually assaulted Stites. But that, he now says, is not at all what he found."

"Instead, Bayardo says in legal declaration that it looks like Stites suffered from an ANAL RAPE – one more likely committed with a "rod-like instrument, such as a police baton." That conclusion suggests even more strongly, Reed's attorneys argue, that someone other than Reed murdered Stites before leaving her body on the side of a country road in 1996. Indeed, at the time of her murder Stites was engaged to then-Giddings Police Officer Jimmy Fennell, who is now in prison for the kidnap and sexual assault of a woman while on-duty as a Georgetown cop in 2007. (Fennell pleaded guilty in 2008 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.)

"The injuries to…Stites' anus are certainly consistent with penile penetration"... "but if there was penile penetration, there was no ejaculation," he wrote. "I understand that the sexual assault for which…Fennell was convicted did not involve ejaculation. This is consistent with the sexual assault on…Stites." And that assault, he said, was "more" consistent with an assault by an object, "such as a police baton."

"Bayardo's revelation is among several containing potentially explosive new information that were filed in an Aug. 13 |2012] brief in federal court, objecting to a federal magistrate's June opinion that Reed's federal appeals, including his innocence claim, should be denied."

What Ted W says about that part of Texas is exactly what "Reed’s brother, Rodrick, said that at the time [of the 1998 trail]: "it was “pretty rough” to be a black man living in the area. He said that after his brother’s arrest, “I was pretty much blackballed in the county, got fired from my job, couldn’t get a job in Bastrop, period, for years. A lot of people looked at me as if I had leprosy or something. They were programmed to believe that my brother did it. They were led astray.” "

The authorities seem at last to be taking all this evidence into account!

And Sister Helen Prejean is tweeting for Rodney, too -- it's in the Guardian article I linked to at the beginning of this comment.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 5:56 am

**It happened in Austin, Texas on Sunday, Feb 15 ! ** "A Friends Meeting in Support of Rodney Reed: Featuring Sr. Helen Prejean" - KVUE/abc: "Family, advocates fight to prevent Reed execution" - It should read 'Families,' because BOTH families, as the studio anchor notes, --Rodney's family & even members of the victim Stacey's family--- "UNITE to fight for a stay of execution" !!

"I don't think he did it," said Heather Stobbs, Stites' cousin. "I don't think he's guilty."

Sr. Helen Prejean: "Rodney Reed is innocent"; "the legal system is racist"
"Renowned anti-death-penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean spoke in Austin in support of Rodney Reed on [Sunday] February 15. In an interview today [Saturday Feb 14], she discussed her commitment to Rodney’s case, citing both Rodney’s innocence and the racism at play in American courts."

"Death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun whose autobiographical account of her relationship with a prisoner inspired the 1995 blockbuster film “Dead Man Walking,” is trying to save a black Texas death row inmate from what she calls the “incurable racism” of the U.S. legal system.


Prejean on Sunday [February 15] was set to join a Quaker service organized by the Friends Meeting of Austin, Texas, designed to draw attention to Reed’s case.

Prejean says state and local authorities’ ongoing refusal to further investigate Reed’s case is par for the course in the American legal system and society.

“If you don’t equally value your citizens in life, you won’t value them in death,” she told Al Jazeera on Saturday [Feb 14], referring to the what some rights advocates across the country call white police officers’ extrajudicial killings last year of black men including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York.

Prejean said that in the 1987 case McClesky v. Kemp, Supreme Court justices acknowledged that “race plays a role in the death penalty, but they said that it would be too costly to remedy it. You have the highest court of the land acknowledging racism in the justice system, and saying it’s too costly to fix it.”

“That’s all the fabric of the legal system, that we have incurable racism,” she said.

“For 10 years, the [Friends] Meeting [of Austin, Texas] has been very active working on the death penalty issue,” said Walter Long, who is a Meeting member, an attorney who represents clients on death row and director of the Texas After Violence Project, an oral history project on the death penalty and murder.

Participants in the Meeting on Sunday planned to send a letter, seen by Al Jazeera, to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, citing the “sanctity of life” as a reason to explore Reed’s “possible” innocence.


Stites’ first cousin Kay Hart, whose parents the victim lived with during high school, told Al Jazeera on Saturday that she also believes Reed is innocent. She said she has written to the Texas governor and other state authorities, asking for a retrial and further investigation into the death of her relative.

“Having an innocent man executed doesn’t bring Stacey back, for certain. It doesn’t represent justice,” Hart said, explaining that members of her family have different views on Reed and on the death penalty. The majority, she said, oppose capital punishment for Reed and want a deeper investigation into the circumstances of Stites’ death.

“We think it’s not just,” she said. “And it doesn’t matter what we think about the death penalty.”

Family members had seen Stites well before her death at a local Dairy Queen restaurant with someone they later believed to be Reed, Hart said, adding that he felt this could help corroborate Reed’s contention that he and Stites had a relationship. “She didn’t introduce him, likely because she was embarrassed,” as she already had a fiancé.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 6:06 am

From KVUE/abc in BASTROP, Texas - Rodney Reed's family reacts to his stay of execution (Video + article) - "An unexpected phone call to the family of Rodney Reed made for quite the dinner surprise Monday evening." - They've been waiting for this for 18 years!!

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 6:37 am
EVERYTHING for Rodney Reed is happening on FACEBOOK!
See: => - "We Demand Justice: Free Rodney Reed"

That's where I found this MOVE.ON petition !

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 7:10 am
That is really great news, thx so much Pat!
Note the strange reaction by Stacey's mother, I suspect she also knew about her daughter's affair with Rodney, not being happy with that and possibly even instigating Fennell? Think the reports said she lived in the same building above Stacey's and Fennell's place, so might have discovered that relationship.
All evidence for Rodney's innocence is COMPELLING and the case stinks of racsim, let's now wait when the new hearing or trial will happen.. Hope we'll learn soon for how long the execution was stayed.

Angelika R (143)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 7:22 am
gladky signed MoveOn, thx Lucy!

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 8:05 am
EVERYTHING for Rodney Reed is happening on FACEBOOK!
See: => - "We Demand Justice: Free Rodney Reed"

That's where I found this MOVE.ON petition !

Phyllis P (232)
Tuesday February 24, 2015, 6:36 pm
I've book marked the link, shared it on facebook and will sign the move on petition. These are the fights I live for......

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday March 25, 2015, 11:31 am
Al-Jazeera, March 5, 2015 - A death delayed: Rodney Reed now eyes exoneration, end to ‘racist’ justice: Article + VIDEO (Rodney Reed on Death Row) - On eve of his scheduled execution – now stayed — condemned man speaks to Al Jazeera on his case and the justice system.

".../... (I've cut off the whole beginning to mid-section)

Like many death-row inmates whose executions are stayed and even overturned, the decision came at what was, for Reed, the eleventh hour.

“I’m glad to have this chance to put this information before the courts, but as far as me jumping up and down and parading around, it’s nothing like that,” said Reed.

He has four grandchildren — two he has never met. No matter how much restitution the state would pay if he is exonerated, he says he will never have the life he could have had were it not for what he calls his unfair trial.

“Throughout the years, we have accumulated a lot of evidence that should have been enough to vindicate me before the courts, but it seemed like every time we get something new, the courts end up shooting it down somehow.”

The state denied previous requests for appeal because it refuses to recognize its culpability, Reed said.

“As far as the system admitting that they’re wrong, they’re not going to do that,” he said coolly. His tone is subdued, no different from when his execution was rapidly approaching, he says. He has made peace with the fact that he may still be killed, if only because there’s nothing he can do in a legal system he believes is stacked against him and other black men — from law enforcement to the courts.

Over 4 percent of people sentenced to death are not guilty, according to a report published by the National Academy of Sciences in April 2014.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice declined to comment on Reed’s stay and allegations that race played a role in earlier decisions not to stay his execution or reinvestigate the case. The department referred Al Jazeera to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, which also declined comment. Spokeswoman Katherine Wise told Al Jazeera by email that the office “does not comment on capital litigation cases beyond what is in the documents the state’s attorneys file in court.”

Bastrop District Attorney Bryan Goertz, who previously denied Reed’s petitions for an appeal that would allow for further investigation into the case, did not respond to an interview request.

Reed says he keeps up with the news as a means of maintaining his sanity while awaiting his death. To him, although he’s still alive, his ordeal is not unlike that of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, or Eric Garner, who was killed by a white police officer’s chokehold in New York. In both cases, the officers who killed the men were not indicted by grand juries.

“It all falls in the lines of race,” Reed said. “Before, I didn’t really look at it that way. You know, I grew up as a military brat, and a lot of my friends are Caucasian. My friends are white. My kids are half white.”

“The jury was all white,” he said, referring to his 1996 trial. “But I felt like, if they heard the evidence, that that is what’s supposed to matter.”

But at various points in his hearings, Reed said the prosecution expressed shock that the defendant would suggest he was having a consensual relationship with Stites. He and Benjet said they saw that as an indication that certain segments of Texas’ society were still prejudiced against the idea of a black man having a relationship with a white woman.

Still, he says he’s “optimistic” that he will be vindicated after a Texas court’s recent decision to review evidence accumulated over the past decade pointing to his innocence. That decision followed three previous denied appeals to stay his execution and reinvestigate the case, including retesting DNA collected from the scene of the crime with modern technology.

In one example of a potential innocent killed by the state, the Marshall Project, a group that investigates failures of the U.S. criminal justice system, in August 2014 released an investigative report that showed Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham, who may not have been guilty, in December 2004. He was accused of killing his three children in an arson attack, but subsequently revealed reports found that the evidence for the crime was likely not substantial enough to convict.

“I know he was innocent,” Reed said, referring to Willingham. Reed said Willingham, in conversation during their time together on death row, told him, “‘I wish I had your case.’” Reed disagreed, saying, “I wouldn’t wish this case on anyone. It revolves around race.’”

Death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean, a Roman Catholic nun whose autobiographical account of her relationship with a prisoner inspired the 1995 film “Dead Man Walking,” told Al Jazeera in an earlier interview about Reed’s case that in her years of research on U.S. executions, she has found “the innocent get thrown in with the guilty all the time.”

“Anytime a human being is killed, it’s the worst of the worst. [The executed inmates] are all unique universes that are being destroyed,” she said.

She agreed with Reed that race played a role in his conviction. “The black man is automatically someone to be the one to die. The whole assumption of innocence is on the white person — who happens to be a policeman. That gives him the double assurance of people that he wouldn’t have killed his own fiancée.”

Prejean feels Reed’s case is par for the course in Texas and other states with high rates of capital punishment and where black males make up a large share of the prison population. She said that in the 1987 case McClesky v. Kemp, Supreme Court justices acknowledged that “race plays a role in the death penalty, but they said that it would be too costly to remedy it. You have the highest court of the land acknowledging racism in the justice system and saying it’s too costly to fix it.”

“That’s all the fabric of the legal system, that we have incurable racism,” she said.

VIDEO: Rodney Reed

(NB There are links in the text that can be accessed onsite, via the link I've provided)

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday March 25, 2015, 4:03 pm
Thx for this update! Let's hope something good and justice will come out of this eventually.

Pat B (356)
Monday April 13, 2015, 1:51 pm
This just in...well, April 11th. FYI
Bastrop County: Affidavit sheds new light in Rodney Reed appeal:
"A man convicted and sentenced to death for a 1996 Bastrop County murder he says he did not commit has found a new ally in a family member of the victim in the case.

A cousin of Stacey Stites has come forward saying he knew that Rodney Reed and Stites were in a secret relationship prior to her murder, according to an affidavit filed with the state’s highest criminal court last week.

Read here:
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