Death penalty opponents and human rights defenders applauded on Friday night after the highest court in Texas issued an indefinite stay of execution for Rodney Reed.
According to the Austin Statesman:
Citing Reed’s innocence in the 1996 murder for which he was convicted, human rights groups have been demanding Reed be taken off death row for years. That call has become increasingly urgent as his scheduled execution date approach.
“We are extremely relieved and thankful that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) has issued a stay of execution for our client Rodney Reed,” said the Innonence Project, which has been working on Reed’s appeal, in a statement. “The CCA has ordered the claims of Brady violations, false testimony and actual innocence in Mr. Reed’s case back to the trial court. This opportunity will allow for proper consideration of the powerful and mounting new evidence of Mr. Reed’s innocence.”
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As the Statesman reports:
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was among those who applauded the decision, but added that the courts should go even further and capital punishment be abolished entirely.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) expressed a similar sentiment:
“An indefinite stay of execution for Rodney Reed is just and warranted,” declared the ACLU in a tweet following the news. “When the state kills someone who may be innocent in the name of justice, the true perversion of the death penalty becomes clear.”