In 1996, a 19 year old woman was sexually assaulted and killed. Rodney Reed is currently on death row in Texas, having been convicted of the crime. He is scheduled to be executed on November 20th. He has maintained his innocence throughout.
His lawyers with the innocent project have exculpatory evidence to prove Rodney did not commit the murder and more than two million people have signed a petition to delay his execution in order to give Rodney the opportunity to prove his innocence before it is too late. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Beyonce have spoken out against the execution and he has bipartisan support from the Texas legislature for a stay.
So far the Governor of Texas doesn’t seem willing to budge and as the days tick closer to the 20th, Rodney Reed’s life is on the line for what could be a very horrible mistake.
You might be wondering what all this has to do with our cause. Sure, some of us are being sanctioned for something we are innocent of. Some of us had a vindictive ex spouse make false accusations in order to get a significant advantage in a divorce. Some who had no intent of soliciting a minor were entrapped in a police sting. But many of us were guilty of the crimes we were convicted of. What we all have in common, though, is we are all the victims of a mistake. In 2003 the Supreme Court relied on a false statistic, that sex offender recidivism rates are “frightening and high” as the basis for finding the registry is not punitive and we are all living with the consequences of that mistake since.
“Be humble to see your mistakes, courageous to admit them, and wise enough to correct them” – Amine Ayad
We can only imagine what it must be like facing execution and pray that Rodney Reed will be given his opportunity to prove a mistake was made. Just like Rodney Reed, we are all watching valuable time tick by, living a social death, while we await our opportunity to prove the foundation for the sex offender registry is based on a falsehood. We pray that the Governor of Texas and the Justices of the Supreme Court heed the words of Amine Ayad, re-consider the facts based on what we know today and let justice prevail!