Kevin Cooper

The author J. Patrick O’Connor of “Scapegoat: The Chino Hills Murders and the framing of Kevin Cooper” spoke at the San Jose Peace and Justice Center about the case of Kevin Cooper who is currently on San Quentin death row. Kevin Cooper was convicted of the brutal murders of a Chino Hills, California family and a young houseguest in 1985 and has been on death row at San Quentin since then. SCAPEGOAT shows how the sheriff’s office and the district attorney’s office of San Bernadino County framed Cooper for these horrific murders and how the justice system has failed him at almost every turn in his long, drawn-out appeal process. Mr. Cooper is innocent. In 2008 five federal judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signed an 82-page dissenting opinion that begins. “The State of California may be about to execute and innocent man.” Kevin Cooper was tried and convicted in an atmosphere of racial hatred where he had been demonized. Through the hearings there were significant evidence that exonerated Mr. Cooper and pointed toward other suspects. The sole surviving victim of the murders, Josh Ryan told officers that the murders had been done by “3 white men” and he also had a visual of Kevin Cooper on the television due to being a fugitive and he then also proclaimed that Cooper indeed wasn’t the murderer. There were also other bits of evidence and facts that the courts chose to ignore. The evidence the prosecution presented at trial tying Mr. Cooper to the crime scene has all been discredited. As stated by Mr. O’Connor the police for in Chino Hills seem as if they just wanted a culprit to place the murder on and proceeded to do so by any means. Kevin Cooper being in prison is a sad story and is all due to corruption in the criminal justice system.

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