The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Rodney Reed, a death row inmate, an indefinite stay of execution on Friday, November 15th, just five days before he was scheduled to be executed. Reed, an African-American, was sentenced to death for the 1996 assault, rape, and strangulation of 19-year old Stacey Stites. Reed and lawyers from the Innocence Project claim that they have new medical testimony and new witness statements that will exonerate Reed. The new testimonies and statements allegedly implicate the man who was engaged to Stites at the time of her murder. A hearing is scheduled to take place in Spring of 2020, where both defense and prosecuting attorneys will focus on the new issues in the case. After heading back to the Court of Appeals, the judges will then determine if Reed will get a new trial. Governor Gregg Abbott, a Republican, has yet to comment about the court’s decision, despite the surmounting public support for Reed.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom.
The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
· “Amid Growing Support Campaign, Texas Death Row Inmate Rodney Reed’s Planned Execution Has Been Stayed. Here’s What You Need to Know”
- Writing: What factors contributed to the court’s decision to stay Rodney Reed’s execution?
- Debate: Rodney Reed is innocent and should be exonerated.
- Poll: Do you think that the court made the right decision in halting the execution?
- Short Answer: Why has Rodney Reed’s case become high-profile?
Current Events Quiz
1.) What did the court cite in their last minute decision to stay Rodney Reed’s death sentence?
a. concealed information
b. false testimony
c. possible innocence
d. all of these
2.) The Texas Board of Pardons and Parole recommended to Governor Abbott that Rodney Reed receive a ______ reprieve on his execution.
3.) Since Republican Governor Abbott took office in 2015, _____ people have been executed in the state of Texas.
4.) According to the Innocence Project, Reed was convicted by an all-white jury. (T/F)
5.) The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles asked Governor Abbott to commute Reed’s sentence to a lesser penalty. (T/F)
6.) Rodney Reed’s case is now considered high-profile. (T/F)
Featured Image: Texas Department of Criminal Justice