We all know justice can be greatly unfair when it comes to different races. And the recent victim of the justice system is Rodney Reed. So, who is he, you might ask? He is an African-American man who was convicted of killing and raping Stacey Stites, a 19-year-old girl. You can read more about the case here.
Nevertheless, experts and many supporters are saying that Reed did not commit this crime. Actually, sources believe that Stacey's abusive fiancé may be the real culprit. Unfortunately, even though large amounts of evidence proves Rodney's innocence, he was still placed on death row.
So many people believe that Reed had nothing to do with the crime that the justice system accused him of.
Activist and journalist Shaun King has vocally supported Reed's innocence in this case, and he's also an instrumental part of Reed's fight. So much so that he started a petition urging Texas Governor Greg Abbott to stop the upcoming execution. His petition has gathered more than two million signatures on behalf of 51-year-old Reed. Moreover, celebs such as Oprah, Rihanna, and others have either signed this petition or used social media platforms to talk about his case and hopefully help save this man's life.
I know what you must be thinking: they have huge influence and followers, but what can I do as someone who doesn't have a huge platform like that, but still wants to help?
Well, here are two big, important and impactful things you can do to help. Just like Rodney's case, many other innocent people spent time in incarceration for crimes they never committed. In fact, it is estimated that one percent of the US prison population, approximately 20,000 people, are falsely convicted.
So, if you want to help, try researching the case and other ones like this. Make sure that you read all the facts and not just parts of the whole story. Being informed is the first step to helping. More, importantly make sure to sign the petition and put more pressure on the Texas Governor to stop the execution. We should all work together to show him that the evidence doesn't support his accusation and that the all-white jury didn't get the chance to see this evidence in the first place. Perhaps if there's enough pressure on the Governor, Reed can get a second chance at proving his innocence.
Furthermore, find ways to contact Texas representatives and ask where they stand on the issue. The more voices we have, the higher chances Reed has.
So, if you want to help, here is the petition that you can sign.
Rodney Reed's execution is set for November 20 this year. We all have the power to make a difference in his case. So how are you going to help this man?
Does race impact the justice system and play a major role in a case like this? Yes, I believe it does. Should it? Absolutely not. However, this will continue to happen unless more people stand up for a fair justice system, for all the people (and not just for the white, privileged people). That is what everyone deserves. We have to stop deciding who deserves justice based on their race. We've done it for far too long. We need to do what is right moving forward.