Political Prisoners

I’m a Slave!

By Kevin Cooper

I have spent all of my adult life fighting in truth, in words, and within America’s unjust criminal justice system, to prove my innocence concerning my wrongful conviction for the Ryen/Hughes murders.

My truth, my words, and my innocence have fallen for the most part on deaf ears, especially inside the mainstream society of this country. After all, they are the ones who convicted me and sent me to death row in 1985.

While I am still fighting for my life, I and the many different people who have fought, and still are fighting, with me have managed to prove many things in this case which point to my innocence; things which some judges have acknowledged, such as the corruption that has happened and still is happening to me within this case.

While I am here on death row, I am just two decisions away from being tortured and murdered by this state. This is my reality, or one of them. Recently I read a very interesting article by Curtis Ray Davis entitled “Humanitarian Exercise or Slavery?” Within that article he spoke about the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And that is when my other reality came to life.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution says this: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, ‘except as punishment for a crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted’ shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction....”

Even though I am an innocent man, and even though I was wrongfully convicted, in the eyes and mind of this society, I was duly convicted, and that amounts to me being reduced to the level of a modern day slave!

Not long ago a federal circuit court judge acknowledged that this case against me has fraud in it, tampering with evidence within it, destruction of evidence throughout it, withholding of exculpatory evidence at its core, lying and all the other things that we have proved.

As a 21st century slave, not only do I need emancipating, as one on death row I need abolition as well! Just like my ancestors.

Note: Kevin Cooper’s petition for an en banc (full court) hearing by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is pending. Last December a 3-judge panel of the court upheld Cooper’s conviction, (for which he faces the death penalty) despite “serious issues of mishandled, lost and destroyed evidence” by the prosecution which would have led to a not guilty verdict.

—The Editors