TEXAS — Rihanna, LL Cool J, Gigi Hadid and other celebrities have joined Kim Kardashian West in trying to stop the execution of a Texas death row inmate later this month, prompting hundreds of thousands to sign an online petition against the execution.
Singer Rihanna tweeted: “One Click!!! SIGN this petition if you don’t believe the Government should kill an innocent man,” and tagged Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Reed has spent more than 21 years on death row for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites. He insists he is innocent, and a former prison inmate last week filed an affidavit in court saying Stites’ fiancé confessed the murder to him years ago. The fiancé’s attorney says that claim is not credible.
The Innocence Project — which says Reed, who is black, was convicted by an all-white jury — points out what it calls weaknesses in the case, saying that the murder weapon has never been tested for DNA evidence and forensic experts have admitted to errors in their testimony.
“We must come together to prevent a gross injustice,” actress Yara Shahidi tweeted.
Other witnesses have come forth in recent weeks suggesting Reed is innocent.
Last week, Reed’s attorneys filed an application for clemency as they try to stop his November 20 execution.
His attorneys have fought for a new trial for years, and a court stayed his execution in 2015 because of new witness testimony and forensic analysis. The court eventually ruled against Reed.