New Evidence In Rodney Reed Case
Nationwide — Rodney Reed, a 51-year old man who was wrongfully convicted of a rape and murder that he did not commit, is scheduled to be executed on November 20th in Texas despite the evidence that confirms his innocence. Several advocates and celebrities such as Beyonce, Rihanna, and Kim Kardashian West have signed a petition to prevent the execution.
In 1996, Reed was accused of killing Stacey Stites, who was then 19-years old. He allegedly kidnapped her before raping and strangling her, leaving her body in a remote area of Bastrop, Texas.
Reed was eventually convicted of rape and murder by an all-white jury in 1998.
However, new evidence that could potentially exonerate him and instead implicate Stites’ fiancé Jimmy Fennell, a local police officer, has emerged.
Reed’s attorneys claimed the prosecution relied on a hunch and inaccurate science, testing recovered DNA against Reed, which became the sole basis of the case. Reed, who initially denied knowing Stites, later admitted that he had a relationship with her and the sperm found inside Stites’ body was because they had consensual sex the day before she was found dead.
Forensic witnesses in the original trial claimed that sperm could not survive for more than a day after sex so prosecutors believed that she was raped by Reed shortly before being murdered. New evidence, however, proved that sperm can stay intact for days after death, confirming that the main evidence linking Reed to her death was wrong as it lacked scientific support.
Additional forensic evidence also pointed toward Fennell. Fingerprints discovered from his pickup truck — which was reportedly used to kidnap Stites — matched only Stites and Fennell.
During the trial, several witnesses could have testified that Fennell found about their affair and threatened Reed, but they weren’t called.
Meanwhile, Fennel, who had a history of violence against women, was sent to jail for kidnapping and sexual assault soon after Rodney was imprisoned. While in jail, Fennel allegedly confessed to killing Stites, according to the affidavit filed by Arthur Snow Jr., a former prison inmate. Snow said he was in jail with Fennel when he said his fiancé had been sleeping around with a Black man behind his back, so he had to kill her.
“Toward the end of the conversation Jimmy said confidently, ‘I had to kill my n****r-loving fiancé,’” Snow wrote. “My impression was that Jimmy felt safe, even proud, sharing this information with me because I was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. I think Jimmy assumed that his confession would impress me and earn him credibility with the Aryan Brotherhood.”
Over the years, Reed, who has been on death row for 21 years, maintained his innocence. The Innocence Project, an organization that aims to exonerate wrongly convicted people, is representing Reed.
Moreover, Reed has been receiving support from several people, including pastors, police officers, and celebrities. Almost 3 million people have signed the petition calling for Governor Greg Abbott to grant clemency, stop or delay the execution.
Black Life Texas
Missing: Lost and Not Found
Say their names: Marshae Ivey, Selah Davis, Ethel Atwell, Tamika Huston, and Relisha Rudd. Who are they? The FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person and Unidentified Person database indicates that since 2022, there have been 89,020 Black women and girls of all ages recorded as missing.
While more than 1.5 million people were recorded missing in 2021, there were 93,718 active cases entered into NCIC. At the end of 2021, there were 14,323 active missing cases involving Black females out of the 93,718 open files. And at least 119,519 of the missing were “juvenile” Black girls and boys. So, why are these cases not getting the attention of authorities and media coverage compared to white victims such as Gabby Petito in 2021?
, , , they believed they would receive less jail time for trafficking Black women as opposed to their white counterparts.
To put this into context, Dr. Treva Lindsey, an associate professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State University, noted that Black females represent 15% of the U.S. female population; however, they are 30% of the women and girls reported missing in the United States. In 2023, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) said that “40% of sex trafficking victims in the U.S. are Black, despite Black people making up only 13.6% of the U.S. population. This significant statistic indicates a disturbing trend of disproportionate racial discrimination in sex trafficking.”
In a study by the Urban Institute, traffickers reported that they believed they would receive less jail time for trafficking Black women as opposed to their white counterparts.” The traffickers’ ideology mimics society’s view of Black women and historical slavery.
If the Black community and the rest of the population are unaware of these missing persons, the resources needed in these cases become limited. In today’s social media world, action does not appear to occur until a story goes viral, which in turn puts pressure on mainstream media and law enforcement to do something. It’s also said there’s a waiting period to report someone as missing, ranging from 24-72 hours. However, the lives of these individuals are at-risk each day they are not found. Many families galvanize their resources, move into action during this “waiting period,” and create grassroots search missions looking for missing loved ones by placing flyers around the community.
Too often, we hear Black girls and boys being described as Black men and women, thereby reducing the narrative on the urgency to address a concern, and their cases go ignored while not being viewed as victims. Often, when a child or young woman goes missing, they are considered to be runaways, thereby receiving no Amber Alert. Bias can also be a factor.
Natalie Wilson, the co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation, reported on a case in Fort Worth, Texas, where a mother reported her daughter as missing; however, law enforcement asked: How do you know that your daughter is not laid up with some man?
There are organizations bringing awareness and resources to address this issue. The NAACP created a resolution encouraging “federal funding be allocated to agencies, groups, and organizations to research and locate missing women and children of color.”
The Black and Missing Foundation provides resources, tools, and advice to families with a missing loved one; and offers preventative measures for parents to keep their children safe. Our Black Girls is a website developed to tell the stories of the missing and murdered. HBO has a series called “Black and Missing.” This four-part series was developed to bring awareness to the cases of Black missing persons that have been marginalized by law enforcement and national media.
It is time for us to mobilize and stay alert. It is time to embrace the notion we are our brothers and sisters’ keepers.
The Impact of Drunk Driving
On Dec 9, Mothers Against Drunk Driving held its National Day of Remembrance, a day for victims and survivors to take a moment to acknowledge the impact drunk and drugged driving crimes have on hundreds of thousands of people every single year.
While people will be celebrating with friends and family this month, December also is the month to recognize National Impaired Driving Prevention. Over 10,000 American lives are lost to drunk and drug-impaired driving each year, accounting for nearly a third of all traffic deaths. In 2019, some 11 percent of Americans drove under the influence, including a staggering 19.6 percent of people aged 21-25 — and that number has only grown since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to a recent proclamation from the Biden Administration.
The family of Tito Bradshaw will be remembered this month. Last year, the drunk driver who killed Tito Bradshaw in the spring of 2019 was sentenced to 20 days in jail and 10 years probation. Bradshaw left behind a young son and a cycling community shocked by his untimely death at age 35. He was well known in the cycling community because he led rides of up to 400 people throughout downtown to raise awareness about bike safety.
Harry Bradshaw, Tito’s father, said his “heart is forever broken,” and the punishment the driver received doesn’t fit the crime. He said while they both may have been at fault, a car does much more damage than a bike, and people need to be extra careful before getting in a car drunk.
“His punishment is life! Her punishment is to live,” said Harry Bradshaw, adding that the family is still healing from Tito’s death.
In the 1900 block of E. Houston, where Bradshaw was hit, a white bike hangs from a pole in a vacant lot. The ghost bike tribute honors the memory of fallen cyclists.
Bradshaw previously owned the Bottom Bracket Social Club, which closed in 2018 and was a hotspot for cyclists. Though he was pronounced brain dead soon after the accident, Bradshaw, a registered organ donor, helped to save a life since his heart was donated. The driver’s sentence was likely reduced because she had no criminal record and is the primary caregiver for two of her grandchildren, one of whom has special needs. News reports said both Bradshaw and the driver had blood alcohol concentration limits above the legal limit.
Tito Bradshaw’s bike safety message is still being felt in the community.
“As a friend of Tito, I can say there isn’t a day that goes by that I see his impact on our community from the bike lanes that have speed bumps to warn a driver they are in the bike lane, the bike trails like Salado Creek, and seeing all the cyclists meet on Tuesdays,” said Kasilo Choka. “I feel blessed to have crossed paths with Tito because now I ride the trails and spread the vision he shared with us.”
Just recently, a MADD-sponsored poll by Ipsos shows that 9 out of 10 Americans support technology integrated into a car’s electronics to prevent drunk driving. The new poll results come one year after the bipartisan HALT Act was signed into law as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The law gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) three years to establish an auto safety standard for all new cars that detects and prevents impaired driving.
Cost is the most common factor influencing support for impaired driving prevention technology in all new cars. 78% of respondents said they are much more or more likely to support the technology if it comes at no extra cost to consumers.
This technology could have saved Bradshaw’s life and the thousands of people killed by drunk drivers yearly. According to statistics from the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, there was a slight drop in DWI cases filed between 2019 and 2020. In 2019, there were 5,856 DWI cases filed. In 2020 there were 4,405 cases, and there was one less intoxication manslaughter case.
As people hit the streets after parties and gatherings, they should remember that just being slightly “buzzed” can take a life and ruin theirs forever.
A BIZARRE OBSESSION TURNS DEADLY ON THE NEXT EPISODE OF FATAL ATTRACTION
An all-new episode of TV One’s True Crime Mondays is back on Monday, September 19. This episode of FATAL ATTRACTION unpacks a deadly obsession. Watch the story unfold on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/8C.
When a young woman arrives at the hospital with gunshot wounds, police attempt to locate the shooter. When the victim succumbs to her injuries, solving the case becomes difficult. Police make a thrilling discovery when a witness reveals information that turns the case on its head. Be sure to catch this compelling story on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/8C.
Driven by powerful, real-life stories, FATAL ATTRACTION offers intimate, first-person accounts, exclusive interrogation footage, and rare archival material. Along the way, viewers get a glimpse into the dark heart of dangerous romances. Tune in as the key players, families of the survivors and those that investigated the horrific crimes reveal the secrets to each sordid tale. Love doesn’t just hurt, it can kill!
Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TV One’s Twitter,Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv). Be sure to follow FATAL ATTRACTION on Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #FATALATTRACTION.
Power Book II: Ghost Debuts in Starz
American Red Cross: On the Right Side of History
Game, Match, Set – Part Five
Video Surfaces in Ahmaud Arbery Case
Bushwick Bill, Of Houston Rap Group Geto Boys, Dead At 52
Botswana’s First Skyscraper and Tallest Building
Community3 weeks ago
Celebrating 100 Years – Saleta Rodgers
Black Life Texas3 weeks ago
Black Leadership and the role of the church
Black Life Texas3 weeks ago
Adidas and Ye Friends Again
Black Life Texas4 weeks ago
A Crowded Mayor’s Race
Black Life Texas3 weeks ago
The Cover Up – Part II
Black Life Texas2 weeks ago
Chris Rock Breaks Silence with Netflix Special
Black Life Texas2 weeks ago
A Mixture of Black Girl Magic
Black Life Texas4 weeks ago
The Notification – Part One
You must be logged in to post a comment.