Rodney Reed, a man scheduled for his death sentence on November 20, 2019 in Texas, has won over the support of some celebrities and others on social media, who are calling on the state to suspend the sentence.
Reed, 51, was convicted in 1998 after he was charged with the murder of 19-year-old white woman in 1996.
Many individuals and activists have called Reed “innocent“, citing inadequacies in the prosecution of his case.
Innocent Project, a non-profit organisation dedicated to fighting for the wrongfully convicted, has forced a public conversation about Reed’s conviction.
The organisation has also compiled forensic evidence it believes would show that Reed was not even at the sight of the murder 23 years ago.
A documentary in 2006, State vs Reed, also questioned the state’s evidence. Reed’s DNA was found in a semen sample retrieved from the victim’s body. It is the only piece of evidence state prosecution presented to an all-white jury during the trial.
But Reed has maintained that he and the victim were secret lovers. He also accuses the victim’s fiance, a former police officer, of committing the crime.
The said officer, Jimmy Fennell, served a 10-year sentence in another case where he was convicted of rape.
So far, numerous campaigns on social media have been launched to put pressure on Texas before November 20. Kim Kardashian West, wife of Kanye and recent justice reforms advocate, has also tweeted in support of Reed.