Celebri­ties join call to stop Gov­er­nor’s ‘Texas jus­tice’

Mercury (Hobart) - - WORLD -

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.

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