Someone once asked me, “What does it feel like to have your brother on death row for a crime he didn’t commit?” To have all this evidence out there. Everybody seeing it. **His case being on *A&E, CNN, the Discovery Channel (ID), MSNBC, detailed in Framed: How an Innocent Man ended up on Texas Death Row, and the award-winning documentary State Vs. Reed, etc. On ALL these different major media outlets. Probably the most talked about death row case in the state of Texas, yet he’s still there on death row. “How does that feel?”
The only way I could try to make them understand what it truly felt like- the only analogy I could come up with- was to have them imagine:
You’re walking along one day. Everything in your life is going pretty well. And then- out of the blue- somebody just jumps out and stabs you. And they stab you deep. And for no valid reason at all. And they put that knife in you in such a way that you can’t remove it yourself and they leave it there. The embedded knife doesn’t kill you, but it causes you pain- such deep agonizing pain. You can still move. You can still breathe. You can still do all your activities of daily living, but not like you used to. Every move you make, you feel it. Every time you’re awake, you see it. You’re never able to feel comfortable because that knife is stuck so deep in you.
Now, YOU imagine: having that knife deeply embedded within you and living with that pain everyday 24/7 for 22 years. And you yourself can do nothing about it. Imagine that nightmare.
You hope and you pray for the day that you can be free of that knife. The day that you can start to feel whole. The day that you can start to heal. The day that you can start to truly love. But you know you can experience none of those things while you have this wound in you that cannot heal. With this blade poking at you. Poking in you. Poking through you. Every day. 24 hours of the day.
Some people in your life have been there with you since the beginning- hoping, praying, screaming, yelling, fighting, crying alongside you- helping you try to get the attention of someone with the power to get this knife out of you. Some people in your life don’t do much at all even though they’ve been seeing you suffering in so much pain. They say things like, “We see you’ve got a knife stuck in you. We hope you get it out” or “I hope you can heal one day.”
The craziest thing though is that there are people out there with the knowledge and the power to get this knife out of you. They are fully aware of this blade deep within you that you did nothing to deserve. Yet they sit back and they do nothing. Why is that? Do they lack the courage? Maybe. Is someone blackmailing them? Maybe. Whatsoever their reasons may be, it is not reason enough to avoid bringing you out of your unwarranted pain.
I recognize Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz did not put this knife in me. He’s not the one who stabbed this knife into my family. However, Bryan Goertz does have the power in his hands to have this knife be removed. If Bryan Goertz does not do everything he can to remove this knife, eventually this wound is going to kill us. It’s going to kill Rodney. It’s already been slowly killing us. It’s killing my brothers. It’s killing me. It’s killing my mother who is up in age. It. Is. Going. To. Kill. Us. That’s how real this is.
This is why I’m asking everyone- everyone who is my family, everyone who is my friend, everyone who believes in truth and justice, everyone who believes in right- to come together. Let us band together and ignite a fire under the person who can actually do something to remove this knife- Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz. Let’s make this fire burn and shine so bright that the right people step in at the right time and help us make our fire shine even brighter- so much so that Goertz is in a position where he has no other choice but to remove this knife that Jimmy Fennell- and possible accomplices of Fennell’s- has embedded in my family.
We are all children of God. We all deserve a fair chance at justice. That’s all we’re asking. Please. Help Rodney. Help my mother. Help my brothers. Help my family. Help me. Help us do what it takes to have Bryan Goertz do everything in his power to remove this knife that’s so deeply embedded within the Reed family.
This is why we started the postcard campaign. Please fill out a postcard today. Refer your friends, family members, anyone who believes in justice to this link:
https://www.reedjusticeinitiative.com/to-bastrop-county-district-attorney-bryan-goertz/ and have them fill out a postcard. Let’s make sure that these postcards are forever embedded in the hearts and minds of Bryan Goertz and the staff at the Bastrop County District Attorney’s office.
** This specific sentence was updated on 6/25/2019. It originally read: “His case being on A&E, CNN, the Discovery Channel (ID), MSNBC, award-winning documentaries, etc. “
*In the A&E program, the name Dustin Bailey is used in place of Jimmy Fennell- Stacey’s fiance- who all the evidence points to as Stacey’s true murderer.
This link goes to part 2 of the A&E special listed in the first paragraph.
This link goes to all of the episodes of season 3 of CNN/ HLN’s Death Row Stories series. The episode titled “Love Kills” is the one on Rodney’s case. It is listed as #2.