Good morning family,
I sent Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz an email and need your help making sure he was able to receive and read my entire message. My email is in response to the comments he made in the following article on April 2nd: https://www.statesman.com/news/20190402/letter-writing-campaign-seeks-new-trial-for-death-row-inmate-rodney-reed
To give a summary, my message to Mr. Goertz is that he needs to do everything in his power to see to it that Rodney gets a new and fair trial where all the evidence can be seen and heard because Mr. Goertz has an ethical duty to do so.
This is the exact message I sent to him on April 9, 2019:
“Good Morning Mr. Goertz,
You are not telling the whole truth here. The truth of the matter is you do have the power to ensure Rodney is granted a new trial. You need to step up. As district attorney, you can concede in court that a convicted person is 1.) innocent or 2.) that their conviction is unconstitutional. Because Rodney’s conviction was the result of a series of constitutional violations- including prosecutorial misconduct, trial by a jury of folks who were not his peers, failure to include all evidence and witness testimonies, inadequate representation, and so much more- you can do something about it. In fact, as district attorney, if you think there is a constitutional violation in a person’s case, you have an ethical duty to concede error.
In the article, you say, “I don’t think there’s an innocent man on death row,” referring to my brother. Now this is coming from a man who graduated from Baylor Law School- one of the top 50 law schools in the country! I don’t understand it. And it’s concerning to say the least! How do you not see that my brother is innocent of the murder of Ms. Stacey Stites with all the evidence that is out there?
You have the testimonies- sworn affidavits- of 4 medical examiners, including even the one who put Rodney on death row, Dr. Roberto Bayardo. In Bayardo’s recanted statement from 2012, he stated that his finding “very few” sperm indicated that my brother and Ms. Stites had sex “not less than 24 hours before Ms. Stites’s death.” So, you have Dr. Bayardo and three other independent medical examiners- those three being experts in their field- testifying that there’s no way possible Rodney could have killed Ms. Stites based on the time of death and the lividity of her body. When you consider this information and also Jimmy Fennell’s testimony that he and Ms. Stites spent a quiet evening at home around this time, based on this information alone, there’s no way in the world Rodney could have committed this murder. And then with all the other evidence that has come out pointing at the DNA of known associates of Fennell’s- cops David Hall and Ed Salmela– how can you not see that Rodney is not guilty of the murder of Ms. Stacey Stites? This makes me seriously question the caliber of law school graduates that Baylor Law School is sending out into our communities.
And if comprehension of facts is not one of your strong suits, one thing that does not require a strong command of comprehension is the fact that Rodney’s conviction was and still is unconstitutional. Rodney’s right to due process was violated! Rodney never did get a fair trial in the first place. He did not get a chance to call his witnesses. There was evidence that was not tested and still has not been tested. The most important piece of evidence in this case- the belt, the murder weapon itself, that was used to strangle Ms. Stites to death- has never been tested! How are you not going to DNA test the murder weapon and then consistently defend Rodney’s conviction, oppose DNA testing, and advocate for his execution?
All we’re asking of you is to do everything in your power to see that Rodney is granted a new and fair trial. Every major district attorney’s office has a conviction integrity unit or something to that effect which includes a process for reviewing cases of claimed innocence, so what we’re asking you for is normal. Most importantly, that is the just thing to do period, and especially when the stakes are as high as they are when you consider that the death penalty is permanent!
You can make recommendations. Your word is very powerful. You can bring a quick end to this abuse. You do have the power to ensure that Rodney is granted a new trial. Seek truth and justice! Most importantly, stand up and do the right thing!
Maybe y’all can get through to Mr. Goertz. If you can, ask Mr. Goertz to do everything he can do- everything in his power- to ensure that my brother Rodney is granted a new and fair trial where all the evidence can be seen and heard. Ask Mr. Goertz to make time to sit down with my mom and me. I have reached out to Mr. Goertz multiple times by phone and by email and I still have not received a response from him directly. I will continue trying to do so. I do need some help in my efforts. Maybe y’all can support me along the way. Call him. Email him. Fill out a postcard. If something in my letter resonates with you, tell Mr. Goertz that. Maybe you could even read the entire thing back to Mr. Goertz. Tell Mr. Goertz to reach out to me by phone at 512- two seven zero-1596. Or tell him to email me. He has my personal email and he can reach me there 24/7/365. I will respond.
Whatever you can do to support the efforts of my immediate family and me would be greatly appreciated. The number to Bryan Goertz’s office is 512-five eight one-7125. His work email is bryan dot goertz at co.bastrop.tx.us. Of course, always be respectful when you reach out to his office.
Family, I ask you, what are your thoughts on how we can ensure Mr. Goertz reads my entire 04/09/2019 email and acts on it?
Thank you, family, with much love from my family.