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I turn 50 on August 31st.  I am inviting everybody everywhere to the Kerr Community Center in Bastrop, TX on Saturday, August 31st at 4pm to celebrate my 50th with food, drinks, music from live bands and a DJ, and most importantly, a rally to save my brother Rodney’s life! We will band together to demand that this retaliatory November 20, 2019 execution date be dropped and that Rodney be freed!

I haven’t been able to celebrate my birthday with my brother Rodney or hug him since 1997.  The state of Texas has robbed my brother of over two decades of his life.  That is over two decades that Rodney has not been able to celebrate birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions with the people who love him.  He has not hugged or kissed Mama in over two decades.  Our brothers.  His children.  He has never had the opportunity to hug or kiss his grandchildren.  A part of us has been locked away for over two decades, and now, the state of Texas is trying to execute him on November 20th for a crime he did not commit.  This is all without DNA testing the murder weapon and ALL the crime scene evidence or granting him a new, fair, just retrial. 

The only thing I want for my birthday, for Rodney, for my family, is help to #BRINGRODNEYHOMEALIVE ! All I want is for my family to be whole again so we can start our journey to healing. For Mama to be able to hug and kiss Rodney again. For Rodney to be able to live the rest of his life happy and as a free man, enjoying every remaining moment of his life to the fullest. I just want my family to be able to hold Rodney in our arms again.

My 50th birthday event will be a fundraiser for our cross-country trip across the United States, where we’re travelling from Texas to NYC to LA and several key locations in between, connecting with major media outlets every step of the way, to make sure the whole world knows how Texas is trying to kill my brother Rodney despite
1. the medical examiner whose testimony led to Rodney’s conviction in the first place recanted that erroneous statement back in 2012 https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/news/2012-08-14/bayardo-says-states-case-against-rodney-reed-is-wrong/,
2. despite refusing to DNA test the murder weapon and ALL crime scene evidence, and
3. despite refusing to grant Rodney a fair, just retrial with a jury of his peers and where ALL of his witnesses are called!

Here is a link to our GoFundMe for the cross-country trip: https://www.gofundme.com/the-change-mobile-and-journey-to-bringrodneyhome  (What we’re really needing is a drivable motor home with no mechanical issues).  Another way to help us fund our fight for justice while raising awareness about Rodney’s situation is to purchase one of our conversation starter t-shirts: https://www.reedjusticeinitiative.com/shop/  

Confirmed speakers for my 50th birthday celebration:
Mama (Sandra Reed)
Anthony Graves – death row exoneree #138
A surprise, very special guest!
And several other speakers who we’re awaiting their confirmation of attendance
List of other speakers and live music performers TBA!

Come celebrate my 50th birthday with my family and me and join us as we fight to save Rodney’s life!

Here is the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/687759088369198/

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Here is info about some of what we’ll be yelling all across America:

Three world-renowned forensic experts have submitted affidavits stating that it is “medically impossible” that Ms. Stites had been killed when the state said she was (They say Ms. Stites was actually murdered before midnight).
https://www.innocenceproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Reed_Exhibits-to-Supp-11.073-Writ_6-26-18.pdf
a. Michael M. Baden, M.D. (pages 39 – 44)
b. Werner U. Spitz, M.D., FCAP (pages 79 – 82)
c. LeRoy Riddick, M.D. (pages 115 – 123)

This alone exonerates my brother Rodney.  The State hasn’t contradicted this either. In fact, the State’s three expert witnesses agree with this. 

Former Travis County Medical Examiner Roberto Bayardo, M.D. stated the following about his findings regarding evidence of rape: 1. he was wrong and 2. parts of his testimony were misinterpreted by the prosecution. https://www.innocenceproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Reed_Exhibits-to-Supp-11.073-Writ_6-26-18.pdf(pages 10-13) 

The testimonies of the state’s other witnesses – DPS Serologist Karen Blakely and Labcorp Serologist Meghan Clement- were also later repudiated.

It was Bayardo’s testimony that led to Rodney’s conviction, so the fact that Bayardo recanted his erroneous statement back in 2012 means THERE HAS BEEN NO CASE AGAINST RODNEY SINCE 2012!  This alone exonerates Rodney. There is too much reasonable doubt to execute my brother. Rodney should be exonerated, not executed.

Read #Psalm64 and also #Matthew18:19-20 !
#RODNEYREEDISINNOCENT !
#TESTTHEDNA for #RodneyReed and #GRANTRODNEYREEDANEWTRIAL so he can show the world HE IS INNOCENT !
#FREERODNEYREED so we can
#BRINGRODNEYHOME !
We’re going to #BRINGRODNEYHOMEALIVE !

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We need your help getting Tyler Perry’s attention regarding Rodney’s case

Reed family in front of Supreme Court of the United States

Good morning family and friends, 

My family and I thank everybody who supported us in getting to the US Supreme Court and who shared the media attention we received while out in DC. 

We finally made it to Bastrop Saturday night after being stuck in the DC/ Maryland/ Virginia (DMV) area days longer than we had anticipated (and hoped). We were so glad to see Mama’s face and finally get to hug her when she picked us up from the Austin Bergstrom airport.  Hearing how proud she was when she mentioned the comments people made to her about how successful we had been in raising awareness about Rodney’s current situation while at SCOTUS was icing on the cake.  Needless to say, it felt so good to finally be home in Texas.

I want to share with yall something that God placed on Mama’s heart.  What Mama said during the car ride from the airport confirmed my belief that with the way things have been developing recently, Rodney will be home SOON!

We were about halfway to Mama’s house when she described having a very strong feeling that God was calling her to reach out to someone about Rodney’s case.  I asked her who.  She responded Tyler Perry.  With such intense emotion in her voice, she talked about how there have been so many people going through situations like Rodney’s and that the only difference is that there is actual evidence in Rodney’s case that proves the rampant prosecutorial misconduct and corruption which led to his wrongful incarceration.  Mama expressed her belief that Tyler Perry could tell Rodney’s story in such a profound way that Rodney’s situation would be amplified substantially. And at such an astonishing magnitude, the likes of which we have yet to see, that it will leave us all in awe of God- and also have the power to enact major changes to how things are done in Bastrop, in Texas, in our country, and the world.

Mama does not play when it comes to God and family.  So, I know when Mama says she has been called by God to make something happen, it will be done.  And not only will it be done, but it will be done in such a way that everyone will fear; they will tell what God has brought about, and ponder what God has done.” -Psalm 64:9. 

Mama proclaimed from the very beginning when Rodney was falsely convicted, “God has His hands in this”.  And my family stands as we have always been, standing firm in knowing that God is good all the time and that God will ensure we see justice! 

We are asking for your help in getting Tyler Perry’s attention so he can help us bring more awareness to Rodney’s case. Here is how:

1. Go to our Reed Justice Initiative Instagram account

2. Go to this picture that includes Richard, RJ, and me holding up the “Rodney Reed is Innocent” banner in front of the US Supreme Court (there will be a long accompanying caption addressing Mr. Perry) : https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzr1zNTp1NC/

3. Post a comment under this picture and here’s the key— MAKE SURE TO MENTION TYLER PERRY in your comment by typing @tylerperry somewhere in your post.  Also, be sure to include either one or all of the following hashtags:

#RodneyReedIsInnocent
#FreeRodneyReed
#GrantRodneyReedANewTrial

Here is the caption we’ll be using that you can respond to:

“Good morning @tylerperry.  I am asking you to help my brother Rodney Reed cross to freedom and exoneration.  My family just got back from Washington DC to plead with the US Supreme Court to take up his case.  Rodney has been on TX death row since 1998 for a crime he did not commit.  All the evidence in this case points to Jimmy Fennell and his known associates being the actual murderers. 

Rodney is represented by the Innocence Project.  This link to our postcard campaign includes more information about Rodney’s case: https://www.reedjusticeinitiative.com/to-bastrop-county-district-attorney-bryan-goertz/

The first paragraph of the following url links to specials on Rodney’s case produced by CNN, A&E, the Discovery Network, MSNBC, etc.: https://www.reedjusticeinitiative.com/help-remove-this-knife-from-the-reed-family/

On June 26, 2019, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) rejected Rodney’s appeal to DNA test all of the crime scene evidence and admit the expert testimonies of renowned forensic pathologists including Dr. Michael Baden (who chaired the federal committee that re-investigated the deaths of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr). https://www.kxan.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/06/Reed-CCA-press-statement-6-26-19-for-immediate-release.pdf  There is the widespread belief that the Texas CCA is involved in a cover up.

Right now, the Texas CCA’s decision is subject to review by SCOTUS.  We pray SCOTUS considers my family’s plea for Rodney’s freedom and chance to prove he’s innocent via a retrial.  

Mr. Perry, we could really use your expert storytelling skills to amplify Rodney’s story.  We believe you could make such a huge difference in accelerating the wheels of justice and be a major force in leading my brother to freedom and exoneration.  Will you help the Reed family cross to being a whole family again by joining us to light a fire that burns and shines so bright that Texas is put in a position where they have no other choice but to free my brother Rodney and grant him a new trial to prove his innocence?

#JusticeForStaceyStites
#RodneyReedIsInnocent
#FreeRodneyReed
#GrantRodneyReedANewTrial
#JusticeForRodneyReed

We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us. We’re bringing Rodney home! And so shall it be!

**This is an abridged and edited version of the post published an hour earlier.

Starvin’ For Justice Fast and Vigil

Starvin’ For Justice Fast and Vigil

We will not stop fighting until Rodney  is home! We’re taking this fight to get Rodney the new, fair trial he deserves to the Capitol- to our nation’s Capitol, that is! We’re going to yell it loud from Capitol Hill! “Rodney Reed deserves a new trial- Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz: we’re urging you- do everything in your power to ensure he is granted one!”

Several family members are travelling to Washington D.C. to participate in the Abolitionist Action Committee’s 26th annual Starvin’ For Justice  fast and vigil.

From June 28 to July 2, death penalty abolitionists from around the country including our family will gather at the steps of the Supreme Court to call for an end to capital punishment in the United States. Tens of thousands of locals and tourists, from all over the U.S. and throughout the world, will pass by the vigil and table. This will present an opportunity to dialogue with a vast audience at a real grassroots level which will be invaluable to the death penalty abolition movement and to achieving our goal of freeing Rodney, ensuring he is granted a new trial to prove his innocence, and exonerating him.

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Help Remove this Knife From the Reed Family

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.

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How Can We Ensure Mr. Goertz Reads My Entire 04/09/2019 Email and Acts On It?

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!

Respectfully,

Rodrick Reed”

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.