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December 1, 2010

An innocence-based pitch for California capital clemency for Kevin Cooper

The potent pair of Alan Dershowitz and David Rivkin have this new op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, which is headlined "A time for clemency: Kevin Cooper was sentenced to death. But there are enough flaws in his case that the governor should step in to save him." Here is how the op-ed starts and finishes:

"The state of California may be about to execute an innocent man." That is the warning of Judge William Fletcher of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 101-page dissent from the court's decision to uphold the murder conviction of Kevin Cooper. Although the courts lack the power to grant clemency, the governor has the responsibility to do so when justice requires it. Now Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is duty-bound to use that power to save a possibly innocent man from death....

Schwarzenegger now bears the responsibility to see that justice is not irreparably perverted by putting Cooper to death. We ask the governor to commute Cooper's sentence to lifetime imprisonment without a chance for parole. All citizens, no matter where they stand on the death penalty, should demand no less.

December 1, 2010 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

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Comments

If he is an "innocent man" then why are they asking for "lifetime imprisonment without a chance for parole"? Justice is still being perverted (although perhaps not irreparably).

Posted by: DEJ | Dec 1, 2010 11:49:18 AM

Am I the only one who finds them ignoring the DNA test, which they requested, that confirmed his guilt a little insulting?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Dec 1, 2010 12:14:30 PM

DEJ asks, "If he is an 'innocent man' then why are they asking for 'lifetime imprisonment without a chance for parole'?"

Probably because he is not innocent.

Postconviction DNA testing confirms that Petitioner committed the murders of the Ryen/Hughes victims. This Court has conducted mitochondrial DNA testing and EDTA testing, has heard testimony from forty-two witnesses, independently reviewed the evidence, including the trial and evidentiary hearing transcripts and all of the parties’ submissions and arguments. Based on this careful review, the Court agrees with the postconviction DNA results and all of the courts that came before it in this case: Petitioner is the one responsible for these brutal murders. Accordingly, the Court DENIES the successive petition for writ of habeas corpus.

US District Judge Marilyn Huff, Cooper v. Brown, 04-CV-656H, May 27, 2005.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Dec 1, 2010 12:35:03 PM

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