New Judge Assigned to Rodney Reed's Execution Case in Texas

A new judge has been assigned to death row inmate Rodney Reed's case a week after Texas' highest criminal court canceled his execution scheduled this month.

The Austin American-Statesmen reports that Judge Olen Underwood removed visiting Judge Doug Shaver on Thursday. Underwood assigned retired Judge J.D. Langley to replace Shaver, who is to retire.

Reed's attorneys argued Shaver, who asked to have his name removed from the list of judges who receive assignments, did not have authority over the case.

The replacement comes one week after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals blocked Reed's Nov. 20 punishment. He was to be executed for the 1996 killing of 19-year-old Stacy Stites near Bastrop, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Austin.

New evidence prompted legislators and others to mount a social media push to stop Reed's execution.

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