- Courtesy of Free Rodney Reed
The recommendation comes as a national chorus of lawmakers, celebrities, human rights groups and petitioners ask Abbott, a death-penalty advocate, to stop Reed's execution on the grounds of new evidence suggesting he may not be guilty of the murder for which he's scheduled to die.
The board recommended a 120-day stay for Reed, which Abbott has the power to accept or reject.
“I have tears streaming down my cheeks,” Reed attorney Andrew MacRae told the New York Times. “I’m overwhelmed, but not yet ecstatic, because we have to wait for the governor to act. But assuming he approves this, I’m going to call Rodney’s mom, and that will be ecstatic.”
Abbott has only stopped one execution since taking office, and experts have pointed out that the Republican governor is unlikely to perceive a political benefit in granting a reprieve. More than half of the 25 prisoners executed in the U.S. last year were put to death in Texas.
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