|Who says times have changed?
by Kevin Cooper
In 1857, the United States Supreme Court declared that the slave Dred Scott
could not sue for his freedom because he was not a person, but property.
Justice Tanney took that statement one step further by writing that a Black
man had no rights that a white man is bound to respect.
This pre-Civil War decision is still in effect today. It is practiced by
the courts in this country each and every day.
I, Kevin Cooper, the next Black man to be executed by this state, don't
feel like a person either. I feel like a piece of expendable property that
this state is about to dispose of.
Every court that has heard my case and denied my appeals has done so in
whatever manner that they saw fit. Even when they knew that my rights were
denied in every court area in this state.
The California Supreme Court did something to uphold my conviction that the
prosecutor at my trial could not do in order to obtain my conviction. They
invented a motive.
Then the Republican federal district court judge who heard my next set of
appeals refused to rule on the destruction of those bloody coveralls. When
my attorneys put another petition in front of the judge asking her to rule
on it, she denied that petition as secessive.
The three-judge panel on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also refused to
rule on the destruction of those coveralls, even though we proved to them
that they were ordered destroyed by the police. Two of those justices
either used bad law, or they made up law in order to uphold my conviction.
The one judge who dissented on my case stated, "Kevin Cooper may very well
be executed without the very colorful evidence that someone else confessed
to the murders ever being heard in any court on its merit!" This is in
connection to the coveralls.
The full 9th Circuit refused to hear my appeals, and so has the U.S.
Supreme Court. Here, in 2004, I have come to the very real conclusion that
I, Kevin Cooper, a Black man, am suffering the same fate at the hands of
courts that my brother Dred Scott suffered in 1857.
We Black men have no rights that the courts will respect! We all know who
runs the courts, don't we?
In struggle from Death Row at San Quentin Prison,
To contact Kevin Cooper, write to:
San Quentin Prison
San Quentin CA 94974
To get involved in the movement to stop his execution, which is scheduled
for February 10, 2004, call (510) 450-0595, email
JusticeforKevinCooper@hotmail.com or visit: