Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Rallies for Reed's innocence have begun to gain popularity"

Protesters march from Capitol
David Stout
Posted: 9/14/06

Protesters gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday, petitioning the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to conduct a new trial for Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed. (Walter Reed, Rodney's father is pictured above.)

Reed was convicted for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites after matching DNA evidence was discovered at the scene of the crime.

Yet, rallies for Reed's innocence have begun to gain popularity. The documentary "State v Reed," which took home an award at the 2006 South by Southwest Film Festival, has helped gain support from death row abolitionists across the country for Reed.

Toddlers, protesters and members of the Reed family held banners and gathered in front of the Capitol building before marching to the Court of Criminal Appeals building to deliver the petition.

"We're here to let the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals know there is a public that cares about what happens to Rodney," said Stefanie Collins, member of the national organization the Campaign to End the Death Penalty. "We just want justice for Rodney and his family."

Since Reed's conviction in 1998, several groups including the Campaign to End the Death Penalty have banded together to demand a retrial claiming that key witnesses and DNA evidence discovered at the crime scene were left out of the trial.

"We came here to plead to the [Court of Criminal Appeals] for Rodney to have a new trial and a fair trial," said Rodney's mother, Sandra Reed.

While a date for Rodney's execution has yet to have been set, 21 inmates have been executed in Texas so far this year according the Death Penalty Information Center Web site.

© Copyright 2006 The Daily Texan

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