LIVINGSTON, Texas — Rodney Reed has been granted a stay of his execution, according to court documents from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. So, what does that mean for Reed's case going forward?
Friday, Nov. 15, the court ruled that a stay will be ordered based on a number of claims from Reed's team. They're granting his execution on the basis of possibly concealed information, false testimony and the chance that Reed is innocent.
This comes more than 20 years after Stacey Stites' body was found in a wooded area in Bastrop, Texas. Rodney Reed was convicted by an all-white jury of raping and killing Stites on May 29, 1998, and was given the death sentence.
But now that the state's highest criminal court has granted Reed a stay, what does that mean going forward? Here's what you should know.
The case, according to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, now must go back to Bastrop County, where a district judge will review the claims that have been put forth by Reed, his defense team and the Innocence Project.
Over the next several months, the trial court in Bastrop County will essentially have to review all of this information. The trial court will likely have a series of hearings or one big hearing where they will comb through that information and the new claims piece by piece.
After that, the trial court judge will make what the legal system calls "findings of fact" or "conclusions of law." The trial court judge will decide whether he or she agrees with Reed's team or not.
The case will then go back to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which ultimately has the final say about whether or not they agree with the trial court judge or not.
KVUE's Tony Plohetski said it is likely this process will take quite some time because it is a high-profile case.
"You can rest assured that the trial court judge is going to pursue this very cautiously and then once it goes back to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, they're going to do the same thing," Plohetski said.
KVUE recently launched Texas Crime Files, a new podcast series that examines some of the most fascinating criminal cases in a state known for its heroes and villains. Season one looks into the controversial case against Reed ahead of his execution. Listen here.
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