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Texas appeals court halts execution of condemned man who many say is innocent

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Texas court stops executionThe highest criminal appeals court in Texas has halted the pending execution of Rodney Reed, who was scheduled to die next week for the killing of Stacey Stites in 1996.

That development came just hours after the Texas parole board voted unanimously Friday to recommend that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delay Reed's execution. The parole board had recommended a 120-day reprieve for Reed, 51. Abbott previously rejected any delay in the execution.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decision effectively returns the case to a trial court in Bastrop County so it can examine Reed’s claims that he is innocent and that prosecutors suppressed evidence and presented false testimony. The stay likely makes the governor's decision moot until Reed’s appeals are exhausted.

Reed's case has received support from celebrities like Beyonce, Kim Kardashian West, and Rihanna. Beyonce is among more than 500,000 who have signed a petition calling for a stay of the execution.

Reed has also drawn support from Sen. Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, who said there was a "remarkable bipartisan coalition" backing Reed because of what he called "credible evidence" of his innocence.



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