Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and numerous other celebrities are imploring the state of Texas to halt the planned execution of Rodney Reed, a death-row inmate who has been imprisoned for two decades despite extensive evidence of his innocence.
Along with those stars, Eric Andre, Meek Mill, Questlove and more than 350,000 other people are supporting a Change.org initiative to prevent Reed’s execution.
As the New York Times reports, Reed was convicted of the 1998 rape and murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites, a crime that had gone unsolved for a year, based primarily on DNA evidence (Reed admitted he and Stites had been having a clandestine affair). Since Reed’s conviction, however, Stites’ fiance, Jimmy Fennell, has confessed to the crime, while more evidence of Reed’s innocence has since been uncovered.
In a statement posted on her website, Beyoncé wrote: “Dear [Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott,” she begins. “Please take a hard look at the substantial evidence in the Rodney Reed case that points to his innocence. Be honest. Be fair. Give him back his life.”
Several other celebrities have come forward to use their star power in hopes of preventing Reed’s execution: