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San Quentin State Prison

Kim Kardashian Working To Free Death Row Inmate

After successfully securing freedom for Alice Marie Johnson, Kim Kardashian is drawing attention to the case of San Quentin Death Row inmate Kevin Cooper, who as convicted over three decades ago in the grisly Chino Hills killings of Douglas and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter Jessica and her friend, 10-year-old Chris Hughes in 1985.

On Saturday Kim retweeted two articles about Cooper’s case along with a request that California Gov. Edmund “Jerry” Brown retest evidence in his case.

Cooper has maintained his innocence since his conviction but he’s exhausted all appeals for his conviction and previous attempts to test the evidence in the case found blood that matched that collected. However, many of Cooper’s advocates believe the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department tampered with DNA evidence to frame Cooper, particularly since there was another possible suspect police chose to ignore. In an op-ed on Sunday, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof revealed that numerous judges believe in Cooper’s innocence and says that the sole survivor of the murders, (at the time) 8-year-old Joshua Ryen, told investigators the killers had been three or four white men. There have also been advancements in DNA testing that give Cooper’s advocates hope that other evidence not previously tested might exonerate him.

Besides Kardashian, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-San Francisco) has also called on the governor to allow the DNA to be retested, but the Blast reported today that the high profile interest in the case won’t have any sway over Brown:

“The Governor’s Office has received the clemency petition from Cooper and it remains under review,” a representative from Gov. Brown’s office tells The Blast. “A request for clemency is a serious matter and applications are thoroughly and diligently reviewed. That review will ultimately dictate next steps.”

The Gov’s office explained that while some are focused “on a celebrity tweet,” the history of Cooper’s case is long and intricate.

They referred The Blast to a post-conviction order from 2011 that detailed the “many, many proceedings over the years, the long history of extensive testing and the great complexity of this case, which has been before every level of state and federal court multiple times.”

According to Gov. Brown’s office, Cooper’s request for clemency remains under review and they emphasized “how seriously the office takes its clemency responsibilities,” Kim Kardashian West notwithstanding.

Sounds like Kim may not have as much influence over Brown as she did on Trump.

Check out a recent news story on Cooper’s case below:


What do you think? Is Kim helping or hurting Cooper’s case?



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