Human Rights Group Issues Report on Kevin Cooper case

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has issued a report on the case of Kevin Cooper, a man who has been locked up on San Quentin’s Death Row since 1985.

A petition was filed in 2011 by Cooper’s attorneys Norman Hile and Katie DeWitt arguing that Cooper was sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. It outlined the mishandling of the crime scene, the false evidence presented by the district attorney, and the fact that the sheriff’s department failed to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense. It also argued there was planted and mishandled evidence and that he was represented by ineffective counsel and faced racial discrimination.

The commission examined the contentions and found that the United States is responsible for violating Cooper’s right to equality before the law, the right to a fair trial, and the right to due process of the law.

“Should the state carry out the execution of Mr. Cooper, it would be committing a serious and irreparable violation of the basic right to life recognized in Article 1 of the American Declaration,” the report states.

Further, the commission recommended that the United States review Kevin Cooper’s trial and sentence in accordance with the guarantees of due process and a fair trial.

The commission also recommended the United States adopt a moratorium on all executions.

The IACHR was created in 1959 to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. It is composed of seven members who review individual petitions and monitor human rights in member states.

You can find more information on the Kevin Cooper case here.

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