Democracy Now! 2019-11-06 Wednesday


In New York this is democracy now. I haven't tested the murder weapon. You have been called all the witnesses who does it. What do they do? They're apparently in Bastrop sub-county that's where it's taking place and we got to do something about the state of Texas is facing growing calls to halt the upcoming execution of Rodney an African American man who spent over twenty years on death row for rape and murder. He says he did not commit growing evidence. Shoes read which framed as part of a cover up to protect wight police officer who killed his fiancee more than one. In one point four million people have signed an online petition to save Rodney reads life. Supporters include celebrities. Kim Kardashian West Riana Ana and make mail we'll speak to Rodney reads brother and sister-in-law as well as his attorney at the innocence project over the two decades that we've been been working on this case. Every aspect of the state's proved has essentially evaporated of the forensic experts who the state relied on of all recanted their testimony. Plus we get the latest on Tuesday's elections across the United States as Democrats. Pull off major victories in Kentucky Tacky and Virginia all that and more coming up welcome to democracy now democracy now dot Org the Warren Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman Tuesday was election day. Results are still pouring in from around the United States in Virginia. Nia Democrats have taken control of both legislative houses for the first time in a quarter of a century in the Kentucky Governor's Race Democratic challenger State Attorney General General Andy Bashir ousted trump backed republican incumbent. Matt Bevin deeply unpopular governor who sparked statewide teachers strike after he threatened to cut pensions. Bashir campaigned on promises to expand Medicaid and boost teachers salaries and pensions Bevan loss. Despite president trump holding a rally in in Lexington Kentucky. Monday night in which he claimed a loss for Bevan was a loss for himself. And if you lose to say trump's suffered the greatest defeat the history of the world. This was the greatest. You get. Let that happen to me. The Republican Governor Bevin says the racist too close to call in. Mississippi's governors race. Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves defeated democratic state. Attorney General Jim Hood in Virginia Democrat. Julie Brisk Risk Mun the woman who made headlines in two thousand seventeen for flipping off trump's motorcade from her bicycle was elected to a local county board of supervisors show represent Algonquin district. In Loudon County Board of Supervisors Virginia Democrat Shelley. Simon's handily defeated Republican incumbent. David Yancey in a rematch for seed and Virginia's House of delegates in two thousand seventeen. The same two candidates tied Yancey was then handed the seat by a lot drawing. His name was picked at random from Abol. Several local candidates made history Tuesday in Scranton Pennsylvania page Nettie was elected the first first woman mayor show also be the first mayor elect to give birth or child is due in December. Tuesday's election also decided several important. State Ballot Alad Initiatives voters in New York City proved ranked choice voting a measure supporters say will help underrepresented voters and candidates of color the town of of East Hampton and eastern Long Island also passed ranked choice voting in Jersey City. Voters approved strict regulations on short term. Rentals and a major blow. Hello to airbnb in Arizona. Measure to make Tucson. A sanctuary city was overwhelmingly defeated. This leaves Humboldt County California where it was voters who approved a sanctuary city ballot measure. In two thousand eighteen Tucson voters also elected Democrat or Heena Moreau as the city's his first woman and First Latina mayor will have more on the elections later in the broadcast in more election. News J. P. Morgan and CEO Jamie Dimon criticized Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren during an interview on CNBC supreme harsh words. Some would say vilifies successful people. I don't like Vilifying Anybody Senator Warren fired back Tuesday tweeting. It's really simple. Jamie me. Diamond and his buddies are successful in part because of the opportunities workforce and public services that we all paid for the fact that they've reacted so strongly so angrily early to being asked to chip and more tells you all you need to know. The system is working great for the wealthy and well-connected and Jamie Dimon doesn't want that to change wjr. I'm going to fight to make sure it works for everyone. Senator Warren tweeted on Capitol Hill. US Ambassador to the European Union. Gordon Jordan sunland now says there was a quid pro quo. That preconditioned the release of military aid to Ukraine on a Ukrainian investigation into president. Trump's political rival Joe Biden son. Gordon Sunlen is a wealthy hotel. Magnate and Real Estate Developer Oregon who received the ambassadorship after donating donating a million dollars to trump's inauguration. Last month he told impeachment investigators he never thought there was a precondition on the aid. But in a sworn statement release Tuesday sunland reversed himself writing quote. I said that resumption of the US aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided. Why did the public anti corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks unquote? A group of scientists has issued a dire warning quote. The climate crisis has arrived and accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It's more severe than anticipated threatening naturally co systems and the fate of humanity humanity. That's according to a new statement. Signed by over eleven thousand scientists. From over one hundred fifty countries published in the journal Bioscience the scientists warn of untold untold suffering unless the global society undergoes a major transformation in order to address the climate crisis in Brazil there reports reports of yet another attack against indigenous land defenders amidst a string of assassinations against Brazilian indigenous leaders. Trying to protect the environment from illegal logging activists say gunmen hired hired by local ranchers opened fire with rubber coated steel bullets against indigenous residents in the southwestern state of Mato Grosso dismissal or trying to reclaim their ancestral ancestor. Land Indigenous Brazilians also rallied Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro to protest the biggest oil auction. In Brazil's history which will be held. Today this is Andrea Taku Fernandez the people Brazil to be free of these environmental disasters. That are happening now. People know that this oil spills a manmade instinct. People are here here to defend the environment to fight against what's happening in the Pacific northwest. Five activists were arrested for blockading part of the port. Vancouver Washington to Tuesday to to prevent a shipment of pipeline intended to be used in expansion of candidates Trans Mountain pipeline. Five climbers locked themselves to the dock. Where the shipment which to be offloaded this is the latest destuction demanding that the Puerto Vancouver and government officials halt the oil pipelines expansion which would triple the system's capacity in Mexico at least nine members of a prominent Mormon family including six children were murdered in an ambush in the northern state of Sonora Monday members of Lebron family who had dual Mexican American can citizenship were attacked by gunmen as they were driving on the highway near the small town of Lamoureux less than one hundred miles south of Arizona among the six children murdered third were seven month old twins eight other children were wounded including a nine month old? who was shot in the chest? A thirteen year old survivor reportedly hid his his wounded siblings in the bushes then walked for fourteen miles to find help Mexican authorities say. They've arrested a suspect in the massacre. The Lebaron family has has been outspoken about organized crime in the region and been the victim of attacks in the past including kidnapping and murder. There are an average of one hundred murders every day in Mexico. More than seventy percent of firearms recovered at crime. Scenes across Mexico originated in the United States. The majority purchase legally in states like Texas scenario sonal than trafficked trafficked across the border in Hong Kong Pro Beijing Lawmaker Juniors. who was stabbed in the chest Wednesday by an unknown assailant while homeless canvassing for votes? It's the politician is known for opposing recent pro democracy protests in Hong Kong and. It's been accused of supporting mob attacks against protestors. Several other political figures have been assaulted assaulted in recent weeks including three pro democracy candidates for upcoming District Council elections in Hong Kong. The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled the government has the the right to expel. The head of human rights. Watch is Israel and Palestine office. All Marsha here is a US citizen. Israel's accused him of supporting the nonviolent boycotts divestment and Sanctions Sion's movement known as BBS which aims to pressure Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. A two thousand seventeen Israeli law bans foreigners from Israel if they publicly support port the BBS movement and facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with civil rights leaders at his home Monday night amid the ongoing controversy about facebook's policy of allowing politicians to lie and political advertisements as well as its role in facilitating election interference and housing discrimination in an open letter ahead of the meeting. Kristen Clark President President of the National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under law wrote to sucker quote. You're using first amendment values as a smokescreen to mask harmful harmful policy decisions that facebook is making to advance its corporate self-interests Clark also. Cc'd the Attorney General of the United States. Richard Bar and those are some of the headlines. This is democracy now democracy now DOT ORG Warren Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman. The State of Texas is facing growing calls to a halt the execution of Rodney read African American man who spent over twenty years in prison for rape and murder. He says he did not commit a group of Twenty six Texas lawmakers including both Democrats and Republicans penned a letter. This week asking Governor Greg Abbott to stop the Execution Plan for November twentieth. More than then one point. Four million people have signed an online petition. To savory it's life supporters include celebrities. Kim Kardashian West Riyan I and Meek Mill Rodney Reed was sentenced to die after being convicted by an all white jury for the nineteen ninety-six murder of Stacey states states a nineteen year old white woman. The two were having an affair at the time but substantial evidence has since emerged implicating states beyond say a white police officer named Jimmy Fennell who was later jailed on kidnapping and rape charges in another case in a major development. A man who spent time in jail with Fennell signed an affidavit last month asserting that Fennell had admitted in prison. He killed told his fiancee because she was having an affair with a black man later in the show we'll be joined by Rodney reads brother and sister-in-law but first let's turn to the documentary a plea for justice made by filmmakers for justice. Scott County. Sheriff says they found the body of a woman along the dirt road of fourteen forty one. Now let me tell you this morning. Nineteen year old Stacie leaf was reported missing and never arrived at work. Two thousand was an insect's a small documentary film team helped expose innocent. Man ended up on Texas death row but my personal opinion. When I heard did that she'd been killed? was that Fennell done immediately and a number of people around here that felt the same way. It soon became apparent that the case against Rodney Reed. It was not just a small town of fair and I believe the state new body. I believe the district attorney for backdrop new bud. I believe the sheriff's department. Nobody and I believe the backdrop police department new body and I do believe they cover that. They did not want a fellow officer located in the past thirteen years. The evidence has continued to mount in favor of Rodney Reeves innocent. Georgetown police sergeant to spend the night behind bars. Jimmy Fennel junior is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he detained his guilty pleas. Today could play a major role in the appeal process of convicted murderer. Rodney read key. Witnesses have recanted crucial testimony. Did Roberto by Arto make missteps that hinder justice in some of the most high profile crime. A man within days of execution now awaiting word of an appeal after Vallarta clarified his conclusions on win. That woman died key. Law Enforcement Officials who oversaw the initial investigation have been charged and convicted for for their own misconduct. Man Who oversaw the Read Investigation Backdrop Sheriff Richard Hernandez who also turned out to be a dirty cop and pled guilty to six felonies. In critical scientific medical. Evidence has been discovered that essentially exonerates Rodney read been face down for by more hours in one position turnover position. She looked dead around commitment. You get instead of exonerating read or even retrying him. Under fair conditions. The Texas courts have decided to set November Twentieth Execution Execution Date for this year an excerpt from a plea for justice about the Rodney read case last month the popular daytime. TV host Dr Phil Aired in an interview. He did with Rodney. Read on death. Row If you have a message to say what is it. I am absolutely innocent. His case ace. I absolutely had nothing to do with Stacy's dead father to my kids. I WANNA be a grandfather to my grandchildren. I WANNA Beings be able to look after my mother and the brother to my brother's a WANNA be a part of my family and my found slain and to be very clear. Did you rape and murder stay. She cites absolute you. You had nothing to do with it at all to do stasis that I wasn't with it that night I'd absolutely nothing to do with day and you said that they didn't want to bring the and there's DNA evidence in these allegations against you for other sexual assaults that they're throwing up against the wall. You're saying let's bring all that former long bring that DNA evidence we have technology now They didn't have. Then you're saying bring that spring that out now let's find out if that's right. Let's test you. Don't fool me for anything that you Rodney reads speaking on the Dr Phil Show ahead of his execution scheduled for November twentieth. Well I recently sat down with Rodney reads brother and sister-in-law who will hear from later in the show they recently came to our studio along with Bryce Benja Senior Senior Attorney at the innocence project. I began by asking Bryce bench to lay out the story. Stacey Steitz was found murdered on the afternoon of April twenty third and her fiance. Jimmy Fennell claim that she was murdered while on her way to work that morning. Thank Mike at Three in the morning. Roughly three o'clock in the morning and The state theorized that Rodney Reed had somehow abducted her while she was on her way to work Kidnapped her took her out to a remote location sexually assaulted her and murdered her. And the state's case really rested on two pillars one was forensic science. They had three experts who claim that the presence of a small amount of Rodney semen was evidence that he he had sexually assaulted mistakes at around the time that she was murdered. And they relied on Jimmy Fennell to establish this timeline and to establish that they were a happy couple in which Mistakes would not be having an affair with Mister Reed Meanwhile at the trial Mr Reed presented some evidence Two witnesses who said that they did know about this affair. In fact his unprepared lawyers had access to other witnesses but they went uninvestigated instigated and not presented And so over the two decades that we've been working on this case every aspect of the state's proof has essentially evaporated the forensic experts who the state relied on have all recanted their testimony. Explain so the Forensic Enza pathologist Roberto Bio who did the autopsy. He established the timeframe of this three o'clock murder and he said that the semen was fresh therefore had to be related to the murder that was backed up by a forensic psychologist from from the DNA Lab as well as a GPS Texas GPS crime scene technician. None of that was true. Texas Texas Department of Public Safety and so none of this theory was true. They told the jury that these small amount of sperm could not have been in there for more than twenty hours. Twenty four hours after they were found in fact that number is seventy two and when we went back and talk to Roberto. Oh by Arto. who was the key witness for the state about this theory? He retracted his entire testimony. He said that the state should not have relied on his estimation of at the time of death and should not have relied on his statements about the semen and in fact he said that the evidence suggested that there was consensual sex. Rex Between Rodney and Stacey The day before which is exactly what Rodney has said all along to his lawyers at a bond hearing where Rodney's mother testified about the relationship and at the trial and so we really have a situation where every aspect of the state's proof has been negated But that's not all the state for months investigated Jimmy Fennell as the prime suspect in the murder and this was even be stacy's fiances and COP. He's so local law enforcement officer. Jimmy Fennell WHO's engaged. Stacey sites was the prime suspect for months they knew it was not fennell semen in the body but they still believe that he was a suspect. He was actively interrogated and after he failed a second polygraph test on facts about the murder he invoked his right to silence and refuse to cooperate. That investigation however stopped after Mr Reed Semen was was identified and suddenly Jimmy Fennell was no longer there. Suspect and Rodney rude read. Jimmy Fennell was no longer their suspect. And Rodney Reed was prosecuted and then ultimately sentenced to death and so the alternative theory of what happened with the rookie cop. Jimmy Fennell all the fiance of Stacey States was what happened that night. Well and so every piece of evidence that we've found over the course of twenty years now now points to Jimmy Fennell it points to the fact that the law enforcement officers investigating this case who suspected Fennell were right when you look at Fennell background. He had a history of excessive force. Even prior to the murder His girlfriend right after the murder murder described him as emotionally abusive virulent anti racist and he's white and black yes And and so the idea of an interracial relationship would not be something he would like and didn't someone quote stacy is saying that he told her he would kill her if she was ever unfaithful. Yes in fact that's something we've heard from several witnesses now and as we've looked into this case we've always suspected things about Jimmy Fennell. From the beginning I took this case in two thousand and two And and Lo and behold several years later you know I pick up the newspaper and we find out that Jimmy Fennell had been arrested and ultimately he was prosecuted excuted and pled guilty to crimes related to kidnapping and raping a woman while he was on patrol and when the Texas Department in a public safety investigated Jimmy Fennell. They found that this was not a one off incident that there was a pattern going back years and so here we have the defense which was woefully unprepared. Did Not have the time to present a case and now we know everything about the defense. Everything that Rodney Reed was saying has been been shown to be true. Bryce Brad Jett Senior Attorney at the innocence project. His Client Rodney redes- scheduled Israel to be executed by the State of Texas November twentieth. When we come back we'll be joined by Rodney reads brother and sister-in-law stay with us uh-huh? Aw Aw where wear blue sky Wasted on seems fish. And Oh mercy me by Marvin Gaye this is democracy now. I'm Amy Goodman as we continue to look at the case of Rodney. Read the African American man scheduled to be executed November twentieth by the State of Texas for a murder and rape. He says he did not commit growing evidence. Shows read was framed as part of a cover up to protect white police officer Jimmy Fennell who killed his own. Fiancee Stacy states. More than one point. Four million people have signed an online petition to save reads life. I recently sat down with two members of Rodney reads family his brother Rodrick reading his sister-in-law one Akpan and as well as Rodney reads attorney. Bryce Ben Chet of the innocence project. I asked Roger Creed how it felt to have his brother face. The death penalty all these years year's been real hard you know They got a piece of down on death row as well as stressful. It's I don't know if can describe it when you know your brother is is innocent or something and then you have to leave him in a place where they're trying to kill him. You know what I mean. That's that's A. That's a stressful thing and I try to you do all that I can do to keep a positive mind about the situation. Try to keep you in positive and everything in God is so amazing because when I go down there to try to lift him up he's lifting as he's making us smile he's encouraging us. You know what I mean. And there's been talk has been twenty two and a half years since we've been able to touch him since my mom is mainly of just hold his hand contact. Contact no contact at Paul. We haven't no and you know the hardest thing for me in these twenty two and a half years each and every time is when from the first time I went to visit him to the last time I've seen him is when I touch that glass and give them that pound leaving him behind. I can't taken with me as bad as I want to. Because I know he's innocent but I have to leave him there you know and that is that I haven't got over there yet and it's been twenty two and the half years this. How is your mother coping with us but mothers? She's a strong lady. She's she's copen. She's you know I've seen in this age. I've seen it as she's like agent but at the same time she's very strong she's positive and she holds onto her faith. You know and right now. She's very optimistic. She and I and the rest of the family believe wideness coming home. I I mean one of the things that are astounding is that it's not as if all the evidence has been destroyed. So how do you go back and recreate the situation there. There is evidence waiting to be DNA tested in police custody. This so why hasn't been tested. I believe it hasn't been tested. Is it because they know the test results will come out to it will point. Jimmy Fennell David Hall. It's Miller those guys then Airolo. Hello all over the scene. All of them are cops and I believe that's reason they haven't tested on. So that's just my opinion. And what is the evidence that you want. DNA tested tested. Whose custody is we have asked for? DNA testing for years now from the Bastrop County District Attorney which certainly has the power to release the evidence we've offered to pay for that testing and stacey sites was murdered She was strangled with a belt. That belt was then separated into two pieces by the murderer. One left by the body one left by the vehicle in which she was travelling Or alleged to have been traveling and so obviously the murderer handled both pieces of that belt. that At the time was not the type of evidence that you could test and get DNA from the murderer Because it was very early. DNA technology today. We contest. Ask Belt we can test areas of the clothing where she was dragged and find evidence of the murder and unfortunately even though we've offered to pay for the testing The state has refused. We've gone to court about this and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has interpreted the DNA law in Texas to prohibit DNA testing of this type of evidence. Why rounded they say? I can't really give a principal sensible explanation for it but but essentially what they have said. The quarter criminal appeals said is we don't think that the legislature would want such an expansive right the DNA testing. And we've shown time and time again that that's just not true every time the court of Criminal Appeals Interprets the DNA law in a way that restricts WCHS access we've gone to the legislature and legislature has expanded access. And so this is a situation where I hate to say it but the will of the people of Texas that if we're going to have the death penalty that we should make sure at least that the people that are subjected to that punishment sment are actually guilty. I WANNA go back seven years to June of two thousand twelve a federal magistrate. Judge denied an appeal by Rodney. Read based on what he called unreliable claims of his consensual relationship with stacy states. One reason the judge cited was that all of the witnesses affirming. The relationship were friends of Rodney's and not Stacey states in this clip from the documentary series a plea for justice filmmakers interview Alicia leashes slater a friend and former CO worker of Stacey who confirms her relationship with Rodney. Read where we're you're having lunch break room together. And it was just the two of us and she pretty much was confiding in me you were talking about her her engagement ring and going so I decided getting married and she said she really wasn't so excited to get married and quickly followed. That was saying that she was actually sleeping with the black guy. Ain't Rodney and she was not sure what her fiance would be found out and she had to be pretty careful about it so he wasn't really excited in getting married because she was black. According to Rodney reads I lawyer Jimmy Brown. There were multiple coworkers. Stacy's grocery store job. Who knew witnessed a relationship between she and Rodney? Read on everything. That Rodney told me that happened. I was able to verify four. And a two thousand. Fifteen affidavit you meet Brown states when he returned to the store a week later those same witnesses were unwilling to speak with him under presumed presumed threat. From the best route police witness intimidation and threat. Were two of the main reasons Rodney breathes lawyers had difficulty establishing the relationship during the original L. trial however since then twenty different people have come forward being their personal knowledge that the relationship indeed existed. So that's Alicia. Slater slater a friend and former coworker Stacey states from the documentary a plea for justice. Bryce Benja talk about the significance of what she's saying. And whoa what court has heard what she had to say so This has been a problem all along. there was as I said some evidence of the relationship at trump. But it wasn't believed I think in large part because the state presented this invalid forensic science making that relationship impossible That's been recanted. So that should change the way you look at these things But over the years Alicia slater and more people have come come out who have no affiliation with the family? And frankly just have information and so. This is the the key that the federal courts denied And when we've presented this new evidence to the state courts They've refused to consider it. Who was the first lawyer So Jimmy Brown was the first lawyer who was hired by the family Unfortunately the family didn't have the resources MRS to Continue to retain him so the court actually appointed a series of lawyers Who did not really prepare the case case and unfortunately there was a rush to trial here so that the lawyers who ultimately tried the case had almost no time to prepare and they were investigating? They were doing forensic testing even while the trial was going on. And this is a death penalty case yes and so a death. Penalty case often requires choirs over a year of preparation. In this case there was less than two months before these lawyers were actually working on the case and then they started picking the jury sorry the allegation of witness tampering that came out in the documentary. A plea for justice. What is that about so we heard from the first as lawyer who was hired by the read family went out and they talked to a number of witnesses who believe that that there was a relationship? he comes back soon thereafter and nobody will talk to them and we've heard from the trial attorneys that assumes that they would drive into town they would pick up a police tail so This idea of witness intimidation is in the record. This is not some speculation here This was not a fair trial and with everything we know. Now No jury would end up convicting Rodney Reed and so what we need. It is just a fair trial where everybody. Here's truthful evidence. They hear valid science. They hear all the facts. And that's all that Rodney wants and we think that that's what justice requires so. Let's now go to the renowned medical examiner. Michael Baden speaking during an evidently cheery hearing in October two thousand seventeen and again tell us who Baden is just the significance of his stature. Sir Michael Baden on Is essentially a legend of forensic pathology he was involved in the reexamination of the murder of John. F. Kennedy of the Martin Luther King assassination and is really the go-to forensic pathologist when the most important issues you know in our country Come up with regard to forensic pathology when was he. On the stand of this was at an evidentiary hearing that was ordered based on suppressed exculpatory. Evidence that we discovered in two thousand seventeen so this is a clip from the documentary. Replay for justice with Dr Michael Baden. We usually birth question. Police officer investigating this now is when did she die because that will influence the investigation of who you wouldn't. Who's telling the truth? Wizened this is something that oil medical examiners Karma's learn immediately there's certain changes in the body that indicate how long somebody in my opinion to reading the grammatical surging. She was dead before midnight of the day also found she was dead Harambee match. So That's Dr Michael Baden and the significance of what he is saying. And what you're calling for now. So what he's saying is that Rodney reads Gil will. The state's theory of how this crime occurred is medically and scientifically impossible and the time of death is actually when Jimmy Fennell said that he was alone with stacy sites in their apartment and this was significant because at that hearing we also heard from Jimmy Finals. Best friend at the time who was a backdrop sheriff's officer who Jimmy Fennell actually gave a different story about where he it was during this critical time period of when stacy was murdered. He claimed that he had actually gone out late that night and was drinking and that he came. I'm home late at night. And that stacy left in the morning without him and so what we have here is a completely different forensic picture shows. The time of death is at a time that Jimmy Fennell told the jury he was at home with stacy sites and now does not even have a consistent instance story about when we asked him fennell about this at the hearing he refused to testify and asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege not to incriminate himself. uh-huh so Rodney Roger Creed your brother Rodney That night why the time matter so much where was he at that time. He was with my cousin. Chris Alridge There was in a Like a little community right next door to the families MS everybody hung out there and there was just sitting there just hanging out this way. was you're wearing a t shirt that says face the forensics and six and it's a picture of Rodney Hashtag stopped the execution Hashtag test the DNA Hash Tag Free Rodney read now and now is when we go to WANNA ACT ON A. You're wearing a different t shirt. It says Grant Rodney read a new trial. So I wanNA talk about that and also when you came into the picture. You're the sister-in-law of Rodney. You're married to Rodrick talk about when you first learned about this in case I learned about the case when I was working as a survivor advocate at safe place There's this annual mlk. MARSHA MARSHA happens every year in Austin and the ending parade ends at Houston Tillotson University and the first table. That I saw was one. I I think there was like flyers for Texas coalition to Bausch death penalty and has something related to Rodney's case in I was talking with someone who is at the table. Basically invited me to come to an event about Rodney's case and everything and when I got to the meeting they talked about how there was DNA. That hadn't been tested. Sit in his case. This was like right around his first execution date. The march fifth two thousand fifteen one and I was just. I thought it was crazy that they were trying. Take this person's life and there was DNA that hadn't been tested. That could prove that he didn't do the crime. And so you know that's when I got involved and that's also when you met Rodrick soon after what's it been like for you to go to death. Row Prison to see Rodney. It's hard because I know how. You Know Rodrick Rodney. We're really close in you know brought Roger Talks about his relationship with Rodney all the time. How you know that was to me? The relationship was like a best friend deeper than a best friend and seeing the pain of what this is done. It's hard when we go up there seeing. It's like a feeling of extreme despair. Seeing how the tone changes won't we leave Livingston. It's it's tough. I WanNa go to Connie Lear now victim of the Georgetown police officer Jimmy Fennell. Stacey states fiance Fennell was convicted and sentenced is to ten years in prison for raping Leear after he took her into police custody. This is a clip from play for justice of Lear being interviewed on the show Crimewatch daily is kept telling me shut up. He asked me of Dance Forum. I told him no I told. Yeah no he got mad and he grabbed me insomnia against the back of his car where the trunk is. I kept telling him to stop but he just told me to shut up. I knew I I like to. I told anybody that hobby down when he got out of prison and killing for now wis convicted of raping her and went to jail for ten years. Yeah he pled guilty to who kidnapping and and sex charges related to that arrest And again the Texas is law enforcement investigation of Jimmy Fennell arising out of that actually showed that that was a pattern of conduct and so this was not an isolated incident and and so everything that the defense was saying to the jury everything that we suspected. When we I took this case has proven to be true? Where is he now because he just recently got out of prison? We've been told by folks who've actually been out to the church and visited the he's so he's a pastor stor at a church in granger Texas a pastor. Yes and what did they say about his congregation about his church. They didn't talk about about all that but basically they went up there and I think one person said that the delivered a Free Rodney read bumper sticker to like one of the members members of the crowd. I don't I don't want that Rodrick. What are you calling for now? We're calling I'm for look for justice we we're calling for Rodney's you get a new trial because we were confident that when given this neutral with all the evidence of all these years all the tests testimonies and stuff from different witnesses witnesses and everything there. Rodney is coming home. We're confident at all. We have to do is have the opportunity to present that his his lives on the line. I can't see them taking my brother's life with some he didn't do. And you did not give us that avenue to save his life. You're executing an innocent man and at the end of the day. I don't see anybody could sleep with that on their conscious their mind their heart. What is your play to to the community right now? And how important is community responses. This case goes through the courts your brother behind bars for more than two decades. It's our plea right now is for everybody to get involved. Everybody's GonNa Act. You know to contact Governor Greg Abbott. Ken Paxton the Board of Pardons and Paroles Greg. Abbott has he made a statement on your brother's case the governor not not to my knowledge college not to my knowledge This contact everybody. You know. Use your social media. Get this story out to help. Bring justice out of the streets and back into the courtroom where it belongs you know so we can get peace not just for Rodney before Stacey. AC states as well her family is going through this as well. And I feel sorry for van that they have to go to this dino her family and understand on members of family there's members of a family day. They wrote a letter to the governor asking back back in two thousand fifteen for clemency for my brother. 'cause they believe Rodney did not commit this crime and they would say they believe Jimmy. Fennell has gotten away with murder in this letter to the governor and they wrote the same letter to Bastrop County District Attorney. Brian Guards there stating this one of the family members was on the Dr Phil Show with us is well sitting right beside me and I had dinner with her that night later that night and she was telling me about you know how the family fill their torn the families torn so they're going to pay my family's going through pain and yet a murderous still out there on the street and my brother is locked up and we are dealing with this fight every day we wake up with it on a mind we go to bed with online and this has been going on far too long as far as other other people that have been executed on tastes role and later found out to be innocent. You know that's hard for me you to hear because he you can't undo that you cannot do that and especially you're trying to take his life and you haven't tested the murder weapon. You haven't called all the witnesses who does that. What do they do that? Apparently in Bastrop County. That's where it's taking place days and we've got to do something about it. That's Rodney reads brother Rodrick Creed Rodney. sister-in-law knocked on and his attorney. Bryce Ben Je AH THE INNOCENCE Project Rodney scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas November twentieth for the murder of Stacey States nineteen ninety-six late October. Reads legal team filed an application for clemency. With the Texas Board of Pardons and paroles after a man revealed that Stacey states fiance Jimmy. Jimmy Fennell White Ex. Police officer had admitted to the murder while he was in prison for another crime. End with the words of Rodney Breeds speaking. Recently my from death row to Dr Phil. Do you have anger about this. I mean you've been twenty two and a half years in here for something you say you didn't do some. Are you angry about it. Initially I was coming into prison but then and you have to let go of that anger. You can't you can't live like that. I see this with it thinks that you have no control. Don't try to control the thank. You have no control of you said Said you miss the simple things in life. What what what are those simple things that you miss? Just being out being out and about taking uh long walks at being able to see them on being able to try and counter stars. How long's it been since you've seen the moon since you seem the sky? Well sometimes I and then we got these little windows with these little system slits where we can look out. Sometimes I looking out. You can't see them because of angle that the building is bill. I know that. That's Rodney. Read speaking Dr Phil on death. Row in Texas Rodney. Reid is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas November twentieth. When we come back we look at election? Results from around the United States with John Nichols of the nation. Stay with us as the strat rich as they sleep. Tom Awesome all. It's morning in America by Durant Jones and the indicators. This is democracy now democracy now DOT ORG the Warren Peace Report. I mean He. Goodman results are still coming in around on the country. After Tuesday's elections with major wins for Democrats and several crucial states in Virginia Democrats have gained control of both houses for the first time in a quarter of of a century in Kentucky Democratic challenger State Attorney General. Andy Bashir has claimed victory over trump backed Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in a tightly. Contested tested race for governor. Bevin was deeply unpopular governor who sparked statewide teacher strikes after he threatened to cut pensions. Bashir campaigned on promises to expand Medicaid and boost teachers salaries and pensions he addressed supporters Tuesday. Night Voters in Kentucky Cinema. Message Loud and clear a your for everyone to hear. It's a message that says our elections don't have have to be about right versus left. They are still about right versus wrong. Matt Bevin has so far. Refused to concede seed the upset. Victory came despite president trump hosting a rally in Kentucky. Four Bevan on Monday night. And if you lose to say trump's suffered the greatest greatest defeat in the history of the world. This was the greatest you get. Let that happen to me. In Mississippi Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves as defeated democratic state. Attorney General Jim Hood and the governor's race Tuesday's election also decided several important state ballot initiatives voters New York City prove ranked choice voting voting a measure supporters say. We'll help underrepresented voters and candidates of color. The town of East Hampton New York also voted for Roy ranked choice voting in Arizona. Measure to make Tucson. Sanctuary CD was overwhelmingly defeated. Tucson voters elected Democrat Regina Romero as the city's first woman allman mayor and First Latino mayor well for more on the elections. We go to Madison Wisconsin. Where we're joined by John Nichols political writer? For the nation's most recent piece the Bernie Sanders slate is on today's ballot. Welcome back to democracy now John. Why don't you just go through each of these races? And of course we have more upsets to talk about. There is a lot to talk about. It was a pretty remarkable night and what happened in Virginia is a huge deal. One of the things we talk about when you look at States is the term trifecta. Control that means that you control the governorship and both houses of the state legislature in Virginia Virginia for the Democrats. That has not happened for a long time but last night they got it. What this means is because they have a democratic governor and a actually quite progressive not all the way progressive but quite progressive democratic legislature? You're going to see real openings to do all sorts of things that have been blocked for years. Virginia voting rights initiatives some labor rights potentially even endorsing sourcing the equal rights amendment. which would be a big deal because there are people still pushing to move that across the line nationally so the Virginia win is a big big deal? Bill and it can't be. It should not go unnoted that people that Republicans targeted and Conservatives targeted intensely folks like state delegate at Lee Carter a democratic socialist. With whom Bernie. Sanders campaigned on the night before the election. Carter one and he won very easily so too did a multi-racial multi-ethnic slate of Democratic contenders. So this was a big win. Let's move to Kentucky. Let let me stay Virginia for for for some very interesting races. The Democrat Julie. Brickman the woman who made headlines in two thousand seventeen for flipping off. Trump's trump's motorcade from her bicycle and was fired was elected to Lok County off board of supervisors in Loudon County. The Board of Supervisors and then Democrat Shelley Simon's handily defeated Republican incumbent David Yancey for a rematch and a house of delegates. The same two candidates had tied before in two thousand seventeen when Yancey was then handed the seat by a lot. Drawing his name picked randomly from bowl also On in Virginia Democrat Ghazala. Hashmi became the first Moslem woman elected to the state Senate. Yes I mean the results. There are striking Democrats Virginia. Really were self righting all over the place. They couldn't keep up with the winds as they came through. But I would say eighty for many people. The icing on the cake was that victory in Loudon County. There was that iconic photo of this bicyclist flipping off the president of the United States. It's as his motorcade passed by. She is now an elected official. And what's significant is on Tuesday night. She won and it's quite arguable. That donald trump lost so the plot on that is is a rich one. So let's check it you say of course The Kentucky race is a huge aged deal because Kentucky has been trending very very Republican. We shouldn't underestimate the fact that Republicans won quite a few races in Kentucky on Tuesday. But in the governor's race there was an all in effort by president trump to nationalize the race to make it about impeachment. It and that's a big deal for two reasons number one. It's a test of voter sentiment. How powerful that issue is number? Two Kentucky is the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch. McConnell and McConnell actually appeared with trump on the eve of the election and Trump flew into Lexington Kentucky had a major rally in. which is your clip noted? He said don't don't let them do that to me or you know he. Basically pleaded with voters Kentucky to protect him from impeachment by re Electing Governor Matt. Bevin Bevin is an unpopular governor but at the end of the race there was a lot of folks who thought he would pull off a victory as it turned out. He didn't and one of the reasons that he didn't win is because Andy Bisher who was well-known Fisher is well known and is the city Attorney General in the state and its insignificant. Of course yes and also you know a skilled politician but he did something that's very very significant. He went into eastern Eastern Kentucky rural counties. Some of which had voted for trump by a forty percent margin and he won more than a dozen counties that trump had one. This is a big message for Democrats into twenty twenty so you also have of course the issues of the teacher strikes and Hostility people felt toward Bevin around pensions and salaries. And you had Medicaid expansion which share was four. Yeah and his father had been a big advocate for and so the family was well associated with that. One of the things that'll be setting. Is that mature one as a conservative conservative Democrat and there's no doubt that he ran on local and state issues rather than you know tiny with all the national stuff and he's no great left-winger but the the truth is he ran as a pro labor pro public education pro abortion rights candidate for governor of Kentucky He was supported by a lot of progressive forces in that state and he prevailed and he prevailed with a huge mobilization in Louisville bill and other urban areas but also by by cracking some of those suburban areas and again by flipping rural counties. And I think that educate can't be underestimated. Yeah Not County Elliott. County Elliott County Kentucky voted forty percent for trump. He had a forty percent victory and their last night by twenty points ranked choice voting John here in New York City also in the town of East Hampton and eastern part of Long Island. Torrential voting is a big deal. It's it's really part of a package of reforms that we should be looking at around the country. Sorry that allow you to open up the politics to let people run who. Maybe don't have as much money who may become from a variety of backgrounds. Rain introit voting is broken through in the state of Maine and it's been a big factor there now. New York City becomes the largest jurisdiction in the country to embrace ranked choice voting. What that means is that you have some real potential in elections for candidates who maybe don't have the biggest amount of money but who have popular appeal to build out a campaign seeking second choice votes I can? We could run down a list of campaigns in in New York City in the past that have narrowly lost. Maybe even somebody like tiffany coban running for Queens. Da where if you had had bring choice voting. There's a real chance they might have one so so. This is a big deal in California K.. T. V. You reports the closely watched district attorney in San Francisco racist too close to call. Suzy Loftus this is leading chaser. Bodine by just two hundred forty votes. That Mi- Changes People Watch this today. Gene was leading after the first round. The ranked choice voting election police pouring in a fortune working against him. And there's also it's important to know that there's a lot of male and votes still to be counted there so when you're looking at about roughly two hundred and forty forty vote difference that it. It's I think I would argue silly at this point to try and declare that race. It really is a genuinely too close to call all contests and they'll be probably. It may be several days before we know Kendra Brooks captured at Philadelphia City Council seat and a historic win for the Working Families Families Party and Philadelphia Progressives. That is a

Coming up next