The State of California is set to execute death row inmate Kevin Cooper for a murder that even the judge in the case admits he did not commit.
The murder happened back in 1983. Shortly after he was accused of the crime, Cooper was convicted and sentenced to death in 1985.
The brutal murder of a family in Chino Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, outraged the public, and many demanded the the death penalty.
The police insisted that Cooper killed Douglas and Peggy Ryen, as well as their 10-year-old daughter Jessica, and a 10-year-old Chris Hughes, who had been staying with the family the night they were murdered.
Then 8-year-old Josh Ryen was also a victim of the attack, but he survived, even after having his throat cut and being left for dead.
Cooper was at the time on the run, having escaped from a minimum security prison. He was, in fact, hiding out at a nearby home when the murder happened. Because of this, the police hyper-fixated on him as the chief suspect in the case.
Police claimed evidence of a bloody footprint, and a drop of blood, as well as a piece of cigarette paper, which they claim tied him to the crime.
But young Josh Ryen eventually recovered from his injuries, and he said that the actual culprits were three Caucasian or Latino men, not a single African American man.
Forensic evidence later proved that the unidentified blood at the crime scene did not in fact belong to Cooper. Instead, it contained the DNA of two different people – corroborating Ryen’s story.
Shortly after San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department told the public that an African American man was being held as a suspect, someone hung a stuffed monkey outside of the courthouse, along with a sign that said “Kill the N*****!”
Cooper’s conviction on the murder charges was later appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court.
His conviction was upheld even though five of the federal judges issued a passionate 103 page dissenting opinion.
This response stated, “There is no way to say this politely. The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing. The district court impeded and obstructed Cooper’s attorneys at every turn. [T]he court imposed unreasonable conditions, refused discovery that should have been available as a matter of course; limited testimony that should not have been limited; and found facts unreasonably, based on a truncated and distorted record. Public confidence in the proper administration of the death penalty depends on the integrity of the process followed by the state… So far as due process is concerned, twenty-four years of flawed proceedings are as good as no proceedings at all.”
The judges in this case found and admitted that the prosecution and the Sheriff’s office deliberately destroyed, tampered with and concealed from the defense key evidence that was never heard by the jury.
The judges said point blank that “The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.”
California Governor Jerry Brown now has the final say as to whether Cooper will die by lethal injection in the coming weeks. Help SPREAD THE WORD and CONTACT the governor to DEMAND the release of this this INNOCENT MAN who is about to executed – BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
(Article by Shante Wooten and M. David; image by #Op309 Media)