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Rodney Reed is set to be executed for a murder he says he didn't commit | Wrongful Conviction

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Rodney Reed has been on death row since 1998 for the murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites. Reed has maintained his innocence since his arrest, yet the state of Texas planed to execute him on November 20, 2019.

The only evidence that connects Reed to the murder is DNA found in Stites' body. However, people who knew Reed and Stites have confirmed the two had a consensual intimate relationship. At the time of the murder, Stites was engaged to a police officer named Jimmy Fennell. Fennell was known for racist remarks and a pattern of abusive behavior. Stites and Fennell are both white, and Rodney Reed is Black.

In 2007, years after Stites' murder, Fennell was convicted of aggravated sexual assault for raping a woman while she was in police custody. He served 8 years in prison. Police say Fennell was considered a suspect in the initial investigation into Stites' murder, but their apartment was never searched, and his DNA was never tested against the murder weapon.

In the years since Rodney Reed's conviction, support for him has spread beyond his Texas hometown, and even gotten the attention of Kim Kardashian and Mark Cuban. His family, and even members of Stites' family, maintain his innocence. Reed's lawyers have been pushing for further DNA testing that could prove his innocence, but the November execution date is fast approaching. They are asking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to grant a reprieve and order a new investigation that could save Reed's life.

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