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Texas Death Row Inmate Rodney Reed's Execution Halted

The Walls Unit in Huntsville where death row inmates are executed.
Jack Morgan | Texas Public Radio
The Walls Unit in Huntsville where death row inmates are executed.

The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas has granted death row inmate Rodney Reed a stay, meaning he will not be executed on Wednesday, Nov. 20 as previously scheduled. 

Earlier Friday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended to Gov. Greg Abbott that Reed be given a reprieve. 

The 7-member Texas parole board unanimously recommended a 120-day reprieve for Reed.

Reed was convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites in Bastrop County, Texas.

Rodney Reed's attorney Bryce Benjet from the Innocence Project describes the court ruling that stopped Reed's execution, what happens next and Kim Kardashian's visit on Friday.

Reed’s supporters point out that new evidence raises serious doubts about his guilt. They point out that the murder weapon, a leather belt found near the scene, has never undergone DNA testing.

The case has drawn national attention from celebrities and lawmakers from both parties, who have thrown their support behind Reed, who maintains his innocence. Kim Kardashian visited Reed Friday before the board granted the stay.

Reed Order by Chris Geidner on Scribd

The stay not only stops the execution but throws the case back into criminal court. A district judge in Bastrop County will hear the evidence and reconsider the case.

Reed’s attorney said that the courts must also now consider police misconduct from the time of the murder in 1996.

Texas executes more death row inmates than any other state, executing seven of the 17 people nationwide in 2019.

David Martin Davies can be reached at DMDavies@TPR.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi