Prisoner Rodney Reed challenges Texas DNA law before SCOTUS – Workers World
, 2022-05-26 23:47:28,
Finally. The U.S. Supreme Court announced the petition of death row prisoner Rodney Reed would be heard, regarding the constitutionality of Texas laws on DNA testing of crime-scene evidence, on April 25.
For decades Texas courts denied such testing, including of the murder weapon, in Reed’s case. The federal courts said Reed waited too long in asking for DNA testing. Now a decision will be made as to time limits if DNA testing is sought.
The answer to this legal issue on DNA testing could open the door for Reed to finally prove his innocence and have his 1998 death sentence be lifted. Reed has insisted he is innocent of the murder of Stacey Stites, a young woman with whom he was having a consensual relationship.
Jane Pucher, a senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, said in an April 25 statement that Reed’s legal team was looking forward to arguing his case before the Supreme Court:
“Rodney Reed has steadfastly maintained his innocence for more than 20 years, and a substantial body of evidence has emerged supporting his innocence. Mr. Reed, who is Black, was convicted in 1998 by an all-white Texas jury of the murder of Stacey Stites, who is white. Among other things, new evidence of innocence points to Stites’ white fiancé, Jimmy Fennell, as the perpetrator.
“But Texas and the Texas courts have refused to allow DNA testing of key crime-scene evidence, including the ligature handled by the perpetrator in the commission of the crime. And when Mr. Reed sought access to DNA testing in federal court, the federal courts wrongly threw out his claims as untimely, reasoning that he could have started his federal action while the state-court proceedings were still pending. We look forward to having the Supreme Court…
To read the original article, go to Click here