A California Death Row Inmate Hopes A Tweet From Kim Kardashian West Will Lead To His Freedom
Kevin Cooper has been on death row since the early 1980s.
A death row inmate Kim Kardashian West mentioned in a tweet hopes her platform will help him regain his freedom.
On Sunday, Kardashian West mentioned Kevin Cooper in a tweet to California governor Jerry Brown about criminal justice reform:
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Governor Brown, please add Kevin Cooper to your legacy of smart, fair and thoughtful criminal justice reforms. https://t.co/OzhZIWdxWL— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) October 7, 2018
“Governor Brown, please add Kevin Cooper to your legacy of smart, fair and thoughtful criminal justice reforms,” she wrote.
Cooper, 60, was sentenced to death after being convicted of stabbing and killing Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter and another 11-year-old child in 1983. At the time of the stabbing, Cooper had recently escaped from a prison where he was serving time for burglary, and was found hiding in a house close to the Ryens’ home.
Cooper has maintained his innocence, and hopes Kardashian’s attention will renew interest in his case.
Norman Hile, Cooper’s attorney, told TMZ Cooper wants Brown to order a new DNA test of evidence collected by investigators. Hile also said his client will send a thank you letter to the reality star.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Cooper's legal team has been told another man confessed to the stabbing. That man has also reportedly made his DNA available for testing by the authorities.
This new information could help clarify a statement made by the Ryens’ surviving child, who initially identified Cooper as the sole assailant, but later blamed a group of white men for the act. Cooper is black.
Having been put on death row after being convicted, Cooper was originally scheduled to die in 2004. However, a stay was ordered so authorities could test a bloody shirt found near the scene. His DNA was determined to be a match, and the death sentence was reinstated.
Cooper has exhausted his ability to appeal, so an order from Brown is the only way any testing will occur.
The governor has ignored all requests about the case so far, and has even implied his successor would have to make the decision.
“You’re going to get a guy more liberal than me coming around the corner. Don’t worry,” Brown reportedly stated.
Hile and Cooper's other supporters have expressed disappointment in Brown’s inactivity.
“We don’t understand why the governor isn’t willing to do what law enforcement would do — test to see who is the actual killer,” the lawyer said on Monday.
Kardashian’s husband Kanye West will visit the White House this week to discuss criminal justice reform, and may bring up Cooper's case. However, Trump cannot intervene on Cooper’s behalf due to it being a state issue.
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