BBC News:– The brother of a man who’s due to be executed in Texas says the family is working “non-stop” to halt it.
Rodney Reed has spent 21 years on death row for the murder of Stacey Stites. His execution date is 20 November.
He says he’s innocent and his lawyers claim that fresh evidence proves that he did not kill the 19-year-old.
Kim Kardashian West, Rihanna and Gigi Hadid have all spoken out supporting him.
His brother Rodrick told Radio 1 Newsbeat that he hopes this kind of celebrity backing will make a difference.
The case has got more attention since stars started tweeting about it.
Kim K has tweeted several times about Rodney Reed’s case.
The 19-year-old was due at work early in the morning of 23 April.
She never turned up to the grocery store in Bastrop, Texas.
Within a few hours, the truck she drove was found abandoned.
By that afternoon her body was discovered. She had been strangled with her own belt.
Investigators found a very small amount of sperm cells – three in total – in her vagina.
The semen came from a young black man, Rodney Reed.
Police had his DNA on file because he had been investigated – but found not guilty – over a different sexual assault case.
He claimed that he was having a secret relationship with Stacey.
She was engaged to another man, but Rodney’s brother Rodrick says the affair went on for months and that the “whole neighbourhood, the whole family” knew about it.
He says: “I seen them at my mom’s house, they came out to my house one time.”
The murder weapon was never tested for DNA. None of Rodney Reed’s fingerprints were found on the truck Stacey was driving.
The case against him was mainly built around his semen.
He said he’d had consensual sex with Stacey the day before she was killed.
Expert witnesses told the murder trial that could not be true.
They argued that sperm could not possibly have survived in Stacey’s body for so long.
Instead, they believed that she must have been raped shortly before being murdered.
This was enough for an all-white jury to convict Rodney Reed.
He was sentenced to death.
Rodrick Reed says he has never doubted his brother’s innocence.
His voice is steady as he explains: “I am 100% certain my brother didn’t do this. My brother is like my best friend.”
There’s just a year age difference between them. Rodney is 51.
Rodrick says he’s lost count of how many times he’s visited him in jail, but security is tight.
“I have not touched my brother in 22 and a half years. Neither have our parents, it’s no contact visits,” he explains.
Away from prison, it’s been an ongoing legal battle.
He says: “I’ve been fighting this for all those years, you know?
“You wouldn’t imagine how hard this is. This is something that, you know, you really can’t put into words.”
Read more:- https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-50304072