The case of death row inmate Rodney Reed has brought the death penalty in America back into the spotlight. A Texan court of appeals last week stopped the execution of Reed, which had been scheduled for Nov 20. Reed’s lawyers and supporters from the Innocence Project have repeatedly said they have evidence that they believe clears Reed of the murder of Stacy Stites, a woman that he was allegedly having an affair with.
Reed was sentenced in 1998 for the rape and murder of Stites, but two witnesses have recently come forward attesting that the two were in a consenting relationship. The Innocence Project has also said it was able to present credible witnesses who believe Stites’ murderer was likely her fiancé.
Texas is one of 18 U.S. states that still executes prisoners, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The death penalty is on the books in many more states, where governors or other institutions have momentarily halted executions. 21 states have abolished the death penalty, most recently New Hampshire in May of this year.