Forum held at TSU in effort to raise awareness of the case of Rodney Reed
HOUSTON – The effort to raise awareness of the case of a Texas death row inmate came to Houston on Tuesday evening.
Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law held a forum featuring Rodney Reed's brother and one of his Houston-based attorneys.
Reed, 51, is scheduled to be executed Nov. 20. He has long claimed he was wrongfully convicted for the 1996 murder and rape of 19-year-old Stacy Stites in Bastrop.
Recently, new evidence and new witnesses have come forward that confirm Reed may be innocent.
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE CASE
Reed's attorneys and his family are pushing for his execution to be stopped and for a judge to grant him a new trial.
There are currently motions and appeals being made at every level of the state and federal court system.
Over the weekend, hundreds of people gathered to protest Reed's upcoming execution and urge Gov. Greg Abbott to grant a reprieve.
WHO IS HIS HOUSTON ATTORNEY
Quinncy McNeal is an oil and gas attorney who is doing pro bono work on Reed's clemency case.
He first learned of Reed's innocence claim when he was a television news reporter in Austin in the early 2000s.
"They passed on to me the Rodney Reed case and said, 'See what you can find.' I remember being convinced that this man will be exonerated," McNeal said.
He was shocked over a decade later when he learned Reed had an execution date. McNeal called Reed's attorneys at the Innocence Project and offered to help.
McNeal says there is new evidence proving Reed is innocent, including new witnesses who say Stites' fiance at the time was the real killer.
"It's medically and scientifically impossible for this to have happened as the state said it happened," McNeal said.
REED FAMILY SPEAKS
Reed's brother Roderick told Channel 2 News he and his brother still have hope.
"We believe that the truth shall set you free, so in the end, we will prevail," Roderick Reed said.
WHAT DOES THE STATE SAY
Abbott's office did not return a request for comment. The State Attorney General's Office has said more than 20 judges have already reviewed the case and that it is time for justice to be served.
Stacy Stites' family members say they still believe Rodney Reed is guilty.
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