When the sole survivor of a quadruple murder told investigators who he saw enter his house and kill his family, his answer was clear and unwavering — three white men.
Then another woman told police that she suspected her white boyfriend who was also a convicted killer of being involved and handed them his bloody clothes. But cops decided that those clues weren't enough evidence to go on. Instead, they focused on a young black man named Kevin Cooper. He's been in jail ever since and is currently awaiting execution.
This is the story of racial injustice, legal negligence and bad detective work that has resulted in Kevin Cooper already spending more than three decades behind bars.
At the scene of the crime, investigators even found blond and brown hairs in the victim's hands. Similar to what you would expect to find if there had been a struggle between two people. But none of this physical proof was enough to convince law enforcement that they had the wrong man.
They ignored the hair and threw the other physical evidence, and the bloody coveralls turned in by the convicted killer's girlfriend were thrown away rather than tested.
Now, Cooper's defense is fighting to save him from the being executed. Cooper's team wants to do advanced DNA testing on the remaining evidence, including the brown and blonde hair at the scene. If it comes back as not being his — which would surprise no one — it could get him a new lease on life. However, Gov. Jerry Brown is still refusing to let them test it — the matter is "under consideration" — even after Cooper's lawyers said they would pay for it. A man's life hangs in the balance after a racially charged trial and legal indifference first put, then left, him behind bars for years. It must end now. Kevin Cooper deserves a chance to clear his name. Sign the petition and demand that Gov. Brown allow Kevin Cooper the chance to test the remaining evidence that could set him free.