Supreme Court will review Rodney Reed's appeal in death-row murder case

Washington DC - The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal for a man on death row in Texas.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal for Rodney Reed, who is on death row for a crime he says he didn't commit.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal for Rodney Reed, who is on death row for a crime he says he didn't commit.  © REUTERS

Rodney Reed, a Black man, has been behind bars since 1998. He was convicted by an all-white jury of murdering Stacey Stites, a 19-year-old white woman with whom he had a consensual relationship, in Bastrop, Texas.

Reed has long maintained his innocence, instead saying that Stites' fiancé, former cop Jimmy Fennell, strangled her for having an affair with a Black man. Fennell has since been found guilty of kidnapping and sexual assault while on duty.

According to Innocence Project, the belt used to strangle Stites was never tested for DNA evidence despite repeated requests.

Fennell has even confessed to the crime. In 2019, Arthur Snow, a former prison mate with Fennell, said the ex-cop told him, "I had to kill my n*****-loving fiancée."

Now, Reed's defense is arguing that there is untested evidence from the crime scene that will clear his name, the Associated Press reported. The question is whether Reed waited too long to request that the belt and other items from the scene be tested.

A Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Reed, but he has support from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case this fall.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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