Celebrities join call to stop Governor’s ‘Texas justice’
IN his five years as Texas governor, Greg Abbott has overseen the execution of nearly 50 prisoners while only once sparing a condemned man’s life, after a victim’s family asked him to do so.
But Mr Abbott – who has proudly referred to the death penalty as “Texas justice” – has never confronted such intense pressure to halt a lethal injection as he faces in the case of Rodney Reed, who is set to die this month for a 1996 killing despite new evidence that raises serious questions about his guilt.
Supporters of Reed were yesterday planning their biggest protest yet outside the governor’s mansion, escalating a public campaign that now counts Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey among those who have urged Mr Abbott to call off the November 20 execution.
It’s unclear if the public pressure is making any impression on Mr Abbott, who hasn’t spoken publicly about the case.
Reed, now 51, was convicted of raping and strangling 19year-old Stacy Stites in Bastrop, a rural community about 50km southeast of Austin.
Reed has long maintained that Stites was killed by her fiance, former police officer Jimmy Fennell.