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The Ashes of Rodney Reed

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“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The words will be repeated over and over again across Texas tomorrow. Texan after Texan will be reminded of their own mortality. In addition to the introspection, I pray that God will add a little outerspection to Ash Wednesday here in Texas and pierce the hearts of Christians about the approaching March 5 execution of Rodney Reed.

 

For 18 years, Rodney Reed has maintained his innocence in the murder of Stacey Stites. In his latest appeal, three of the most respected pathologists in the country declared that they “have re-evaluated the case and determined that Mr. Reed’s guilt is medically and scientifically impossible.” In addition to a cadre of supporters from around the world, Stites’ own cousin Heather Stobbs is very vocal about her belief that Reed is innocent.  Stites was white and Reed was black.  With DNA left untested and a variety of other exonerating evidences left unmitigated, Texas is rushing to execute an innocent man.

 

The ashes always come before the execution. May the feeling of the ash on our foreheads remind us that we are responsible for whatever happens next. I believe that if we will allow the ashes to manifest and become more than just an empty ritual in our lives, we can free Rodney Reed.

 

Amen.

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