Friday, November 8, 2019

Rodney Reed: Death Row: Texas: Grits for Breakfast (Scott Henson) - one of my favourite criminal justice Blogs - delves into The Reed case on it's 'Reasonably Suspicious' podcast through an interview with Rodney Reed's attorneys - and concludes that all of the prosecution's forensics from the case have been discredited. It's well worth the read and the listen. HL...."For the October Reasonably Suspicious podcast, my co-host Mandy Marzullo and I interviewed attorneys for death-row inmate Rodney Reed, who is scheduled to be executed on November 20th. Despite this apparent failure, Bryce Benjet of the national Innocence Project and Quinncy McNeal of Mayer-Brown in Houston are in fact excellent lawyers, and their habeas-corpus-phase deconstruction has left little evidence remaining from the prosecution's case that convicted their client. Regardless, Reed's execution looms."

PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  One of the most enlightening criminal justice Blogs in the cybersphere is Grits for Breakfast. (It's tantalizing motto is:  'Welcome to Texas justice: You might beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride.") So when Grits delves into the Rodney Reed case  , it's well worth the listen.

Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.



"Blogger/extraordinaire Jeff Gamso's blunt, unequivocal, unforgettable message to the powers that be in California: "JUST TEST THE FUCKING DNA." (Oh yes, Gamso raises, as he does in many of his posts, an important philosophical question: This post is headed: "What is truth, said jesting Pilate.")..."So what's the harm? What, exactly, are they scared of? Don't we want the truth?"


 POST:  Bonus tracks from Reasonably Suspicious interview with #RodneyReed's attorneys: Why all the forensics from his case have been discredited, published on November 7,  2019.

We published the first part of the interview on the main, monthly podcast in October. Now, here's the full interview, including the final portion describing how all of the forensic evidence in Reed's case has evaporated. Here's the full interview.

Bottom line, the state's case hinged on two prongs: 1) forensic testimony that Reed must have had sex with victim Stacey Stites soon before her death, and 2) the fact that only friends of Reed, not Stites' acquaintances, corroborated his version that the two were engaged in an illicit affair.

Now, a re-investigation of the case by Quinncy McNeal has uncovered several additional witnesses who corroborate the relationship between Reed and Stites, none of whom had any relationship with Reed whatsoever. Indeed, after this interview was conducted, a witness came forward who says Stites' fiancee, Jimmy Fennell, confessed to killing her while in prison.

Meanwhile - and this is the portion of the interview that wasn't included in the October podcast - all of the prosecution forensics in the case have been discredited. The defense has secured retraction letters from the former Travis County medical examiner and the DPS crime lab saying the testimony provided against Reed at trial was wrong. If jurors had heard the corrected forensic testimony, much less the independent corroboration of his and Stites' relationship, Rodney Reed almost certainly would never have been convicted in the first place.

With evidence of Reed's likely innocence mounting, the decision whether he will live or die is up to Gov. Greg Abbott and the Board of Pardons and Paroles. They have less than two weeks to decide. Twenty-six Texas House members - 13 Rs and 13 Ds - have asked the Governor to commute Reed's sentence."

For more background, including the best exposition of recent evidence in the case, see Reed's "clemency petition." See also the Texas Tribune's latest coverage.
The entire post can be read at:


PETITION: To stop the execution of Rodney Reed:


PUBLISHER’S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic"  section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:  Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog;