Halted Rodney Reed Execution Puts Spotlight on the Wrongfully Convicted - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Halted Rodney Reed Execution Puts Spotlight on the Wrongfully Convicted

Rodney Reed, convicted of kidnapping, rape & murder claims he is innocent.

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    Halted Execution Puts Spotlight on the Wrongfully Convicted

    Rodney Reed was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Wednesday, but instead, he was granted the reprieve he and his legal team have fought for. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019)

    Rodney Reed was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Wednesday, but instead, he was granted the reprieve he and his legal team have fought for.

    Reed claims to be innocent of the heinous crimes he was convicted for — the kidnapping, rape and murder of a Bastrop woman in 1996.

    The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals indefinitely delayed Reed’s planned execution and sent his case back to the original trial court in light of new evidence, including eyewitness testimony that could potentially exonerate him.

    Reed’s case has garnered national attention, including calls for a delay in the execution from prominent politicians on both sides of the aisle as well as celebrities.

    Appeals Court Blocks Rodney Reed's Execution

    [DFW] Appeals Court Blocks Rodney Reed's Execution

    Texas' top criminal appeals court on Friday halted the scheduled execution of inmate Rodney Reed, whose conviction is being questioned by new evidence that his supporters say raises serious doubt about his guilt.

    (Published Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019)

    But if Rodney Reed is, in fact, innocent of the crimes he was convicted of he unfortunately would be far from alone in the State of Texas, according to criminal justice advocates.

    "It’s fair to say that there are thousands of innocent people in Texas prisons," said Mike Ware, an attorney and the Executive Director and co-founder of the Innocence Project of Texas, a legal nonprofit that works to help free wrongfully convicted people.

    According to the Innocence Project, a conservative estimate of the Texas prison population – which includes approximately 141,000 inmates serving various levels of ongoing sentences – would predict that about 4% of incarcerated people have been wrongfully convicted. That would mean that 5,640 innocent people are behind bars who should not be.

    "It is a whole lot easier for the system to convict a completely innocent person than it is to exonerate an innocent person once they have been wrongfully convicted," said Ware, who also helped to found the Conviction Integrity Unit in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, which is the first of its kind in the country.

    Ware said that there are a multitude of reasons why an innocent person would be convicted of a crime that they did not commit, which include:

    • A younger defendant
    • A prior criminal history
    • Prosecution withheld evidence
    • Lying by a non-eyewitness
    • Misinterpreting evidence at trial
    • "Junk" science

    Shooting at 2nd Wisconsin High School Leaves Community in Shock

    [NATL] Shooting at 2nd Wisconsin High School Leaves Community in Shock

    A school officer and a student were injured at Wisoonsin's Oshkosh West High School Tuesday morning, when the student was shot after attempting to stab the office with a sharp object. The shooting comes just one day after a school resource officer at Waukesha South High School shot a 17-year-old armed student who refused to drop his weapon.

    (Published Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019)

    The Innocence Project of Texas, which did not work directly on the Rodney Reed case, receives an estimated 100 letters from Texas inmates every month — an average of 1,200 every year — who claim that they are innocent. But the legal nonprofit estimates that it only takes up the cases of about three new inmates every year, due to the amount of work required to successfully fight for exoneration in any given case.

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