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Rodney Reed, has maintained his innocence over his 22 years on Texas's death row. Reed was in a consensual relationship with the victim, Stacy Stites. After the trial, several witnesses corroborated Rodney's claim that they were romantically involved. Since his trial, substantial evidence exonerating Rodney and implicating Stacey’s then-fiancé Jimmy Fennell, a former local police officer, has come to light. Fennell was the prime suspect in the case for months after the murder, with a recording of police investigators saying he was believed to be motivated by Stites involvement with another man. Other evidence points to Fennell as well, his best friend at the time of the crime revealed that Jimmy gave an inconsistent account of where he was on the night of the murder, two witnesses have come forward about incriminating statements made by Fennell, he later served a 10-year prison sentence for a sex crime and kidnapping, and one of his prison mates came forward saying Fennell confessed to the crime. The mounting evidence against Fennell brings Rodney's guilt into question. Additionally, the murder weapon has never been tested for DNA evidence. The Texas Court of Appeals has repeatedly denied requests for testing of crime scene evidence. The US Supreme Court declined to directly review the Texas courts' denial of DNA testing in 2018. There are also racial concerns about Rodney's conviction. He is a Black man who was found guilty by an all white jury of killing a white woman. Rodney was granted an indefinite stay of execution, just five days before his scheduled execution date of November 20, 2019, and is now awaiting a new hearing. Rodney now has another chance to prove his innocence, but he’s not free yet.


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