Posted on July 5, 2008 by Sara Hickman. | Comments Off on THINGS TO THINK ABOUT ON THE FIFTH OF JULY

Maybe you are sick and tired of me talking about the death penalty on my blog.
But here is a prime example of an innocent man who will be put to death unless we
all raise our voices and demand further investigation to free him. Before it is too late.

Rodney Reed has been sitting on death row since 1998. For a heinous crime I feel certain he did not commit.
That is ten years of his life—gone—while the perpetrator of the crime has been living free and without
remorse. Think of the last ten years of your life: the changes you have seen in the world by watching the tv or
reading the paper or talking with friends; the time spent with those you love having fun or just hanging out;
deciding what you will eat for breakfast or whether or not you will go for a walk out in the sunshine
or even if you feel like a shower and a shave. Gathering your mail and reading it. These are all things we take for
granted that someone on death row no longer has choices about.

For ten years, I can tell you what Rodney Reed has experienced: noise. Lots and lots of noise that he can’t turn off.
Noise of people yelling and guards angry voices and reverberating clanging, ALL THE TIME. Lights shining, brightly,
in a small, 8 x 10 foot concrete cell with no control over heat or freezing temperatures.
No nice bed linens because when the bed is crappy you get what you get. No glasses prescribed, so if you can’t read,
too bad. Maybe some glasses from a small bowl of donated spectacles and MAYBE you’ll end up with something somewhere
close to what can help you see better. Food that has no nutrition, taste, value, color. If you are thirsty, too bad. If you
want to talk with someone else besides yourself (a doctor? a minister?), well, shut up and wait. We’ll get around to you.
Maybe. Maybe in six months. Books? You want a library? Some libraries in the Texas prison system have been stripped of
any books that have to do with God, so if you are looking for spiritual comfort, forget it. Wanna go outside and play in the dry,
dirt yard with no trees or bushes? We’ll give you an hour a week. And, when you get to go out, when you come back, you’ll be
strip searched BEFORE you take a “shower”…a quick stand in the stall to rinse down…followed by another strip search before
you get back into your used, worn, all white hot cotton shirt and pants (belt? what you want a belt for, boy? so you can hang
yourself? ha ha ha! no belts here)…

Many of you might have read or seen news stories on the criminal charges against Jimmy Fennell. Most of these stories have mentioned
that Fennell was originallly suspected of the murder of his fiance at the time, Stacey Stites – the crime for which Rodney sits on death row.

In case you haven’t heard, Judge Burt Carnes of Williamson County rejected the negotiated plea deal between the Williamson County DA’s
office and Jimmy Fennell in which he was to be sentenced to 2 years in the state jail for sexual misconduct and 10 years probation for
kidnapping. Under the plea Fennell was not required to register as a sex offender. He is now set to stand trial on September 8 in
Williamson County on charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.

These stories are generating attention to Rodney’s case as well as the cases pending against Fennell, so now more than ever we
need to use the public’s growing awareness to push for a new trial for our innocent brother on death row.

Please take five minutes to go to and sign the petition calling for a new trial for Rodney Reed.
Then, forward this to five friends who you haven’t asked to sign the petition yet.

As always, thank you for your support and FREE RODNEY REED!

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