AUSTIN, Texas — As another man was set to be executed Tuesday night, family and supporters of Texas death row inmate Rodney Reed were set to protest the death penalty at the Texas governor's mansion.
Protesters were expected to gather at 5:30 p.m. to protest the pending execution of Mark Soliz in hopes of getting Gov. Greg Abbott to grant Soliz a stay. Family members of Reed, a client of the Innocence Project, also planned to urge Gov. Abbott to end the death penalty in Texas and ask him to "heed the beliefs of his Catholic faith."
Soliz and another man were convicted in the shooting death of a Johnson County woman during a 2010 robbery in her home. He was sentenced to death in 2012 for the murder of 61-year-old Nancy Weatherly after an eight-day crime spree in which he and the other man, Jose Ramos, robbed random people at gunpoint. Reports state Soliz also killed another man. Ramos received life in prison without parole.
“As Pope John Paul II said, ‘the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil,’" said Roderick Reed, Rodney's brother. "I share this same belief with Pope John Paul II. This means we recognize the dignity of Mark Soliz despite the horrific nature of his crimes."
Reed's family are a part of the Reed Justice Initiative, a grassroots collaborative led by the immediate family members of Rodney Reed.
The group held a similar protest last month on the day another death row inmate, Larry Swearingen, was executed.
Rodney Reed of Bastrop County was convicted of murdering Stacy Stites in 1996. Roderick believes his brother is innocent.
A judge has set a Nov. 20 execution date for Rodney.