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Tue Sep 8 2009 (Updated 09/09/09)
Kevin Cooper: Will California Execute An Innocent Man?
Author J. Patrick O'Connor Interviewed About his Research Into The Case of Kevin Cooper
Author J. Patrick O'Connor was recently interviewed in San Francisco about his research into the case of San Quentin death row prisoner Kevin Cooper, whose appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court was recently denied, with Judge William Fletcher writing a stinging dissent, declaring that the "State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.” This fall, Cooper will be appealing to the US Supreme Court, which is last chance to avoid execution.

In a 101 page dissenting opinion Judge Fletcher wrote that Cooper was “probably innocent,” of the 1983 murders for which he was convicted, and “if he is innocent, the real killers have escaped…They may kill again. They may already have done so…We owe it to the victims of this horrible crime, to Kevin Cooper, and to ourselves, to get this one right.”

Judge Fletcher’s dissent was recently featured in a front page New York Times article by John Schwartz, titled Judges’ Dissents for Death Row Inmates Are Rising. Schwartz writes that Fletcher “argued that the evidence had been tainted by bumbling and misconduct and suggested that blood linking Mr. Cooper to the crime had been planted by overzealous investigators. And while the Ninth Circuit in 2004 ordered new DNA tests, Judge Fletcher wrote that the lower court had set conditions rendering the results useless. ‘There is no way to say this politely,’ he wrote. ‘The district court failed to provide Cooper a fair hearing and flouted our direction to perform the two tests.’”

On May 18, 2009 Kevin Cooper was interviewed by Flashpoints/KPFA radio, where Cooper compared his current situation with that in 2004, when he came less than 4 hours from being executed before a stay was granted: “I was able to survive this madness. And now I seem to be right back, right in it.” video Read more

Execution of Kevin Cooper Stopped | Save Kevin Cooper

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