The Highest Court of Texas has halted the execution of Rodney Reed five days before he was scheduled to be put to death after the high-profile case garnered a public outcry, with millions petitioning to exonerate him. Kim Kardashian, who was one of the many celebrities rallying behind Reed, confirmed the news yesterday.
In an Instagram post, Kardashian affirmed that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has issued a 120-day reprieve, and in the meantime, the case will return to trial.
Kardashian has been advocating criminal justice and prison reform alongside the Innocence Project. The organization which has been working on the case, welcomed the appeals court's ruling and remains hopeful that Reed's innocence will be proven.
Last week, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Meek Mill, Kim Kardashian and Pusha T were among the many celebrities leveraging their fame to bring attention to the impending execution of Rodney Reed, scheduled for November 20, 2019."
Eric Andre and Questlove, were among the 2.9 million people maintaining Reed's innocence in a Change.org petition. They believe Reed was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of Stacey Stites 1998. He has sat on Texas’ Death Row for 2 decades.
In a statement posted on her website, Beyoncé wrote:
Dear [Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott,
Please take a hard look at the substantial evidence in the Rodney Reed case that points to his innocence. Be honest. Be fair. Give him back his life.
Reed's legal team believes that new evidence has the potential to exonerate him and halt his execution. According to the New York Times, at least three people have come forward with new testimony that implicates Ms. Stites’ fiancé, Jimmy Fennell in the murder.
In 2008 Fennell plead guilty to kidnapping a woman while he was on duty as a police officer. The woman said he had also raped her.
While in jail Fennell allegedly confessed to the murder of Ms. Stites to a member of the white-only prison gang called the Aryan Brotherhood.
Meek Mill has been directing his followers to the Free Rodney Reed Project for more information.
Bryce Benjet, one of Reed's lawyers told the NYT, “Basically, every case I’ve worked on, the more attention that comes to the case, the more people hear about it and come forward.”
See which celebrities are supporting the cause below and sign the petition here.