The Marshall Project

How Do You Prove You’re Innocent If You’re On Death Row?

Rodney Reed faces execution in Texas despite mounting evidence of innocence and bipartisan support.

The case of Rodney Reed, who is scheduled to be executed in Texas on Nov. 20, is unique not only because of the celebrities promoting his claims of innocence, from Oprah to Beyonce to Dr. Phil. Numerous lawmakers—with the support of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz—are calling for the execution to be halted. So are several law enforcement officers, who told the U.S. Supreme Court that the “the forensic case against Mr. Reed has been completely obliterated.”

The case is unique also because of the implicating someone else for the crime for which Reed was sentenced to die, the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites, in Bastrop, Texas. Although his semen was found on Stites’s body, Reed, who is black, has maintained he was in a consensual relationship with Stites, who. ( offers the most comprehensive account of where the case stands.)

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