The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Texas Planning to Execute an Innocent Man

Nov 11, 2019

The State of Texas is planning to execute Rodney Reed on November 20. Reed, a black man, is innocent. He was falsely convicted of the 1996 murder of a 19-year-old white woman, Stacey Stites, and has spent over 20 years on death row.

At the time of her murder, Stites was engaged to a white cop named Jimmy Fennell. She was having an affair with Reed and told friends she was afraid to tell Fennell about the affair because she knew Fennell was a racist.

The cops only briefly investigated Fennell as a suspect. He failed two polygraph tests and then refused to cooperate. When the semen of Reed, a black man, was found on the body of Stites, a white woman, the Texas cops completely dropped their investigation of Fennell.

Fennell has since been convicted of kidnapping and raping a woman while on patrol. A fellow inmate of Fennell’s signed an affidavit saying Fennell admitted to him he killed his fiancée because she was having an affair with a black man.

The local sheriff who oversaw the investigation of Rodney Reed has also been found guilty of six felonies.

Lawyers for the Innocence Project took up Reed’s case and brought much of this new evidence to light. They have filed an application of clemency with the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. Over 1.4 million people have signed an online petition in support of Reed, and he has received the support of numerous celebrities. As of now, however, the state has not called off his execution.

Rodney Reed’s case provides a clear example of the racist nature of both the American “injustice” system and the death penalty. Stop the execution of Rodney Reed!