“Applicant has not proven by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable juror would have convicted him of capital murder,” Langley wrote. “Applicant has not proven by clear and convincing evidence that he is actually innocent.”
Reed, who was sentenced to death more than 20 years ago for the assault, rape, and strangling of 19-year-old Stacey Stites, has maintained his innocence.
Since Reed’s 1998 trial, “substantial evidence exonerates Rodney,” the Innocence Project said, in July.
“Rodney Reed’s legal team presented its case that Mr. Reed deserves a new trial in light of newly discovered evidence that supports his innocence claim. At the hearing before District Judge J.D. Langley, his legal team also presented evidence that prosecutors had withheld evidence and experts had given misleading testimony at Mr. Reed’s original trial in 1998,” the Innocence Project said.
Langley’s recommendation now goes back to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which will decide whether Reed should be granted a new trial.