Reality star Kim Kardashian West says she was with Rodney Reed when he received the news that his execution would be delayed.
“Today, I had the honor of meeting #RodneyReed in person and the privilege of sitting with him when he got the news that the highest court in Texas had issued a stay of execution and remanded the case back to the trial court for further consideration,” Kardashian West wrote on Instagram. “Words cannot describe the relief and hope that swept over the room in that moment.”
Reed was scheduled to be executed November 20 for the 1996 assault, rape and strangling of 19-year-old Stacey Stiles. He and attorneys with the Innocence Project say they have evidence that exonerates him and allegedly implicates the man engaged to her at the time, Jimmy Fennell, who was a police officer.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended Friday that Gov. Greg Abbott grant a 120-day reprieve to Reed. The stay of Reed’s execution means the case will go back to a state judge in Bastrop County where he was convicted.
Reed’s case has drawn the attention of lawmakers, religious leaders and celebrities such as Kardashian West and Rihanna, and more than 2.8 million people signed a petition on freerodneyreed.com asking Abbott to halt the execution.
Kardashian West wrote in her post that Reed’s case has received so much support “… because of a deep belief that every man or woman accused of a crime – especially one punishable by death – deserves the chance to have all available evidence considered.”
Kardashian West, who is currently in a four-year apprenticeship to take the California bar exam, has been working with activists and lawyers on a national bipartisan advocacy group on criminal justice reform.
She also played a key role in the release of Alice Marie Johnson, the 63-year-old woman who served 21 years of a life sentence for a non-violent drug charge.