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News :: Human Rights
California will execute the wrong man in 48 hours!
08 Feb 2004
Please take action now!
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

We call upon you to stop the execution of Kevin Cooper.

Nationwide, prosecutors have had the wrong man in 112 capital
murder cases, forcing innocent men and women to spend years on
death row facing execution for crimes they did not commit. On
February 10, the state of California plans to execute Kevin
Cooper, a 45-year-old African American man who has been on
death row for 20 years. We ask you to stay Kevin Cooper's
execution so that a thorough investigation can be conducted to
answer questions about the evidence against him-especially about
evidence that was never heard by the jury.

• On June 4, 1983, Peggy, Doug and Jessica Ryen and a houseguest
were brutally murdered in San Bernardino County. The youngest
member of the family, Josh Ryen, 8, managed to survive. When
local police learned that Kevin Cooper had walked off the grounds
of a minimum security prison just days before the murders, Cooper
became the primary suspect - despite the fact that Josh Ryen told
police and his grandmother that the killers were three white or
Latino men and despite the fact that at least one confession by an
individual unconnected to Kevin Cooper supports this statement.

• The State of California conducted DNA tests on Cooper, but
the integrity of this evidence is highly questionable. Blood and
saliva samples taken at the time of his arrest were released to a
technician involved in the prosecution, and held for twenty-four
hours without a court order or the knowledge of Cooper's legal
team.

• Clumps of long, blond hair were found in the hands of one
of the victims. Photographs of this hair, which clearly does
not belong to Cooper, were never shown to the jury. The
prosecution has refused to allow testing that could determine
just whose hair it is.

• Bloody coveralls submitted to the police by a woman claiming
that they had been left at her house by her boyfriend around the
time of the murders were tossed in a dumpster without any testing.
The woman was never brought in to testify.

A study published by the Santa Clara Law Review in December 2003
exposes over 80 problems in California's death penalty system,
declaring it "seriously flawed and dangerously unjust." We ask you
to review the facts of this case and decide for yourself whether
Kevin's guilt has been established "beyond a reasonable doubt."
There are serious questions about Kevin Cooper's case and
California's flawed death penalty system which need to be
addressed before the state kills another prisoner. If you agree,
please take action now.

Call, fax or email Governor Schwarzenegger.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
Phone number: 916-445-2841
Fax number: 916-445-4633
E-mail address: governor (at) governor.ca.gov


We, the undersigned, believe there are critical questions to be
answered before the State of California executes Kevin Cooper,
especially about the evidence that was never heard by the jury.
We call upon you to stop the execution of Kevin Cooper.

Harry Belafonte
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
James Cromwell
Ted Danson
Richard Dreyfuss
Shelley Fabares
Mike Farrell
Janeane Garofalo
Danny Glover
Anjelica Houston
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
Mary Steenburgen
Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma'at, American Friends Service
Committee
Barbara Becnel, co-author of the "Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang
Violence" series
Stephen Bright, Southern Center for Human Rights
Peter Camejo, Green Party of California
Noam Chomsky, author
Angela Davis, author
Lanny J. Davis, Esq., Fmr. Special Counsel to Pres. Bill Clinton
Hari Dillon, President, Vanguard Foundation
Riva Enteen, National Lawyers Guild
Robert Greenwald, Producer/Director
Ron Hampton, National Black Police Association
Van Jones, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
Mesha Monge-Irizarry, Founder, Idriss
Stelley Foundation
Derrel Myers, founder, JoJo White Youth
Fund and member of Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation
Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View
Franklin E. Zimring, Boalt Hall School of Law
Howard Zinn, author
Rabbi Leonard Beerman, Rabbi Emeritus,
Leo Baeck Temple
Bishop H.H. Brookins, African Methodist
Episcopal Church
Father Gregory Boyle, S.J.
Bishop Clarence Carr, African Methodist
Episcopal Zion Church
Rev. James Lawson Jr., President, Southern
Christian Leadership Conference
Rev. Robert A. Matthews, United Church of
Christ, Oakland
Rev. Tony Pierce, African Methodist
Episcopal Zion Church
Sister Helen Prejean, Author, Dead Man Walking
Pastor Chuck Singleton, Loveland Church
Rev. Larry Turpin, Presbyterian United
Church of Hyde Park, Chicago
Dr. Melvin V. Wade, Sr., Mt. Moriah Baptist Chruch
Bishop Henry M. Williamson Sr., Presiding
Prelate 9th District, CME Church
Bishop Gabino Zavala, San Gabriel Region,
LA Archdiocese, Roman Catholic Church
Fmr. Gov. George H. Ryan, Illinois
John Burton, Senate President Pro-Tem, 3rd District
Gilbert Cedillo, Senator 22nd District
Gloria Romero, Senator 24th District
Byron Sher, Senator, 11th District
John Vaconcellos, Senator, 13th District
Mervin Dymally, Assemblman 52nd District
Jackie Goldberg, Assemblywoman 45th District
Loni Hancock, Assemblywoman 14th District
Paul Koretz, Asseblyman 42nd District
Mark Leno, Assemblyman 13th District
Sally Lieber, Assemblywoman 22nd District
Mark Ridley-Thomas, Assemblyman 48th District
Salima Marriott, Delegate, Maryland State Assembly
John J. Duran, Mayor Pro Tempore, City of West Hollywood
Sophie Maxwell, SF Board of Supervisors
Nancy Nadel, Oakland City Council
John Heilman, West Hollywood City Council
Abbe Land, West Hollywood City Council
Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Council
Rabbi Allen I. Freehling, Executive Director,
Los Angeles Human Relations Commission
Salima Marriott, Delegate, Maryland State Assembly
Armonie Bordes, Member of European
Parliament, France
Yasmine Boudjenah, MEP, France
Chantal Cauquil, MEP, France
Alain Krivine, MEP, France
Arlette Laguiller, MEP, France
Didier-Claude Rod, MEP, France
Roseline Vachetta, MEP, France
Erik Meijer, MEP, The Netherlands
Feleknas Uca, MEP, Germany
ILWU Local 10
Tyrone Freeman, President, SEIU Local 434B
Walter Johnson, Sec-Treas., San Francisco Central Labor Council
Michael Letwin, Fmr. President, Association of Legal Aid
Attorneys/UAW Local 2325
Bob Mandel, Executive Board, Oakland Education Association
Jonathan Meade, Paramedic Chapter
President, SEIU 790, San Francisco Fire
Department
Howard Wallace, Pride At Work, AFL-CIO
Amnesty International U.S.A.
American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
American Civil Liberties Union of
Sourthern California
American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego
California Prison Focus
Campaign to End the Death Penalty
California People of Faith Working Against
the Death Penalty
Critical Resistance
Death Penalty Focus
Friends Committee on Legislation Global Exchange
International Action Center
International Socialist Organization
Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition
And over 1,000 other people, churches, unions and community
organizations opposed to the Execution of Kevin Cooper

www.savekevincooper.org

Call, fax or email Governor Schwarzenegger.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER
Phone number: 916-445-2841
Fax number: 916-445-4633
E-mail address: governor (at) governor.ca.gov

This work is in the public domain
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