Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Others Ask Texas Governor to Stop Execution of Rodney Reed
Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Meek Mill are among the celebrities who are urging the Texas governor to stop the Nov. 20 execution of a Texas inmate.
Death-row prisoner Rodney Reed, 51, was convicted of killing Stacey Stites on April 23, 1996. According to NBC affiliate KXAN in Austin, her body was found on a rural road in Bastrop County, outside of Austin.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says that Reed “strangled and killed” 20-year-old Stites “during an aggravated sexual assault.”
Reed has maintained his innocence, and his attorneys have said that new evidence, including a sworn affidavit by a fellow inmate implicating another man, would exonerate him.
The case has caught the attention of a number of celebrities, who have taken to Twitter to urge people to sign an online petition calling on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to stop Reed’s execution. As of Tuesday morning, the petition had more than a million signatures.
“One Click!! SIGN the petition if you don’t believe the Government should kill an innocent man!!!” singer Rihanna wrote, tagging the governor in her tweet.
“PLEASE @GovAbbott How can you execute a man when since his trial, substantial evidence that would exonerate Rodney Reed has come forward and even implicates the other person of interest,” Kim Kardashian West wrote. “I URGE YOU TO DO THE RIGHT THING.”
In a separate tweet, Kardashian West wrote that she believes Reed is innocent. The reality star, who is studying to become a lawyer, has advocated successfully in the past for the release of other prisoners.
Actor Larenz Tate urged his followers to read, sign and then share the petition “to prevent #RodneyReed from being executed.”
“All evidence points to his innocence! Help Stop this execution!” Tate tweeted.
Other celebrities also joined in.