Meek Mill, Busta Rhymes, Kim Kardashian and more are signing a petition in the hopes of freeing death row inmate, Rodney Reed. According to CNN, Reed has spent 20 years on death row after being convicted for the 1996 murder of Stacy Stites. Reed had a romantic relationship with Stites and after she was found dead, police claimed that Reed raped and killed her. However, Reed has continued to maintain his innocence and a new confession may exonerate him.
Former inmate Arthur Snow recently filed an affidavit claiming that Stites’ fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, confessed to killing her in 2010. At the time of the confession, Snow was serving a sentence for forgery at a Texas prison, where he met Fennell through the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.
“Jimmy said his fiancé had been sleeping around with a black man behind his back,” the document reads. “Toward the end of the conversation Jimmy said confidently, ‘I had to kill my n*****- loving fiancé.’ My impression was that Jimmy felt safe, even proud, sharing this information with me because I was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. I think Jimmy assumed that his confession would impress me and earn him credibility with the Aryan Brotherhood.”
Reed is set to be executed on Nov. 20. Earlier this week, his attorneys filed an application for clemency in attempt to delay the execution. Bryce Benjet, a senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project and Reed’s lead counsel, claims that the confession and prior forensic evidence proves Reed’s innocence.
”Mr. Reed’s execution is less than one month away, meaning Texas is frighteningly close to executing an innocent man,” he said in a statement. “Between the medical and scientific evidence, and multiple new, credible witnesses, the original case trial has been completely deconstructed and disproven.”
Last month, Kim Kardashian shared Reed’s story on Twitter, urging Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to “do the right thing.”
“How insane!!!! New witness comes forward that Rodeny was NOT the murderer!!!!” she tweeted. “He is set to be executed Nov 20th.”
How insane!!!! New witness comes forward that Rodeny was NOT the murderer!!!! He is set to be executed Nov 20th. https://t.co/AgGcqVpjV6— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 31, 2019
This week, hip hop celebrities such as Meek Mill, T.I., Rihanna and more have rallied behind Reed’s plight and are encouraging their followers to sign an online petition, which urges Gov. Abbott to stop his execution. The petition has currently garnered over 50,000 signatures and is aiming for 100,000.
I just signed the petition to stop the execution of #RODNEYREED @Justice4Rodney Thank you shaunking for shining such a bright light on this situation where this brother will be executed in the next 16 days for a… https://t.co/8afYTBPuOn— Busta Rhymes (@BustaRhymes) November 4, 2019
Fennell was released from prison on March 10, 2018, after serving a 10-year sentence for kidnapping and raping a woman in 2007, while working as a police officer in Georgetown, TX.