February 5, 2004
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:
I am writing in regards to Kevin Cooper who is on California's death row. After hearing his name in the news recently, I decided to find out more information for myself about his case. I've come to the conclusion that you must reconsider your denial for a stay of execution.
There are several unanswered questions around his case that trouble me. Because the death penalty cannot be reversed, I believe the following points must be investigated further:
1) Why haven't the over 100 blond human hairs found in one of the victims not hand been tested and considered?
2) Why won't the State test the blood samples contributed to Mr. Smith for the chemical agent used to preserve blood in test tubes? I find it suspicious that his test tube of blood was missing from police custody for 24 hours, leaving open the possibility for evidence tampering.
3) Why wasn't the story of the women who came to police with her boyfriend's bloody overalls and reports of his missing work axe and of strange behavior the night of the murder taken seriously? Why were the overalls discarded without blood testing?
4) Why wasn't the only survivor, a young boy's earliest statements that three White or Hispanic men were the murderers not made available to jurors. Also, when seeing Kevin Coopers picture on TV, he told nurse at the hospital that Cooper wasn't the man at the murders. It is only at the trial did he change his story. I believe the heavy focus on Kevin Cooper and the time he lived with one of the detectives could have tainted his story.
5) There are several other inconsistencies about a murder weapon reappearing after police reports say none was found and the two minutes the prosecution say all three victims were killed with three different weapons.
Your initial response to let the Cooper's execution proceed is very much like a politician concerned with his or her image as being "tough on crime." Instead, California needs leaders who are tough on finding out the truth. Six of the original jurors have already signed affidavits stating that had they heard about much of evidence mentioned above, they would have changed their guilty verdicts. Not only is it terrifying that an innocent man may be killed, but that three murderers may be free on streets.
Use your power as Governor to halt Kevin Cooper's execution until simple DNA testing can be done and several important leads can be followed and reported on. I and many others, feel anything less would be a crime against Kevin Cooper and all of California.
I look forward to your immediate reconsideration.