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Barack Obama's presidency

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George W. Bush's presidency since 2007

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George W. Bush's presidency from 2005-06

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From free trade to the Kosovo crisis.

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On Death Row: Murder and Innocence

By Dennis Bernstein
May 23, 2009

Editor’s Note: This past week, Dennis Bernstein of “Flashpoints,” a Pacifica news program in the Bay Area of California, conducted an interview with a black prisoner named Kevin Cooper, who for a second time is one step away from execution for a murder that he says he did not commit, found guilty at a trial that a number of federal judges believe fell short of fairness:

Dennis Bernstein: If you believe the claims of death row prisoner Kevin Cooper, that he is innocent, and that there are many reasons to do so, then the state of California should be brought up on charges of attempted murder and false imprisonment.

Eleven federal judges of the Ninth Circuit of Appeals have enough doubt about Cooper’s guilt or various violations of his due process, that they opposed the court’s recent denial of a rehearing to examine further evidence key to Cooper’s case.

Cooper has been denied such hearings in the past, most recently on May 11. In a hundred page-plus dissent issued on the eleventh, Judge W. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit warned that the state may be about to execute an innocent man.

Kevin Cooper spoke to Flashpoints last five years ago in 2004, five days after the state came within a few hours of murdering him. Cooper’s lawyers are appealing the recent ruling by the entire Ninth Circuit to the Supreme Court. Cooper has been on death row for over twenty-five years. He joins us now from death row on San Quentin. Kevin Cooper, welcome.

Cooper:  Thank you, Dennis.

Bernstein:  And also joining the discussion is Leslie Kean. She’s a friend of Cooper’s who has been visiting him for over ten years on death row, and has done extensive research on the case. …

Why don’t you tell us, set the scene, tell us what was happening five years ago, several hours before the state tried to kill you? Tell us what the situation was.

Cooper:  The situation was hectic. I was locked inside this dungeon here in the bowels of San Quentin prison, where these volunteer institutionals are trying to murder, torture and murder. And somehow or other, I managed to get a stay of execution from that state, which was based on a Brady law violation.  The state was holding material, exculpatory evidence. I was able to survive this madness. And now I seem to be right back, right in it.

Bernstein:  In one moment, Leslie Kean is going to go over the recent decisions and the things that people can do, as well. We’re going to be talking about that later on, Kevin. But again, when you say the madness, you were within eight hours of being executed by the state. …

Cooper:  Three hours and 42 minutes.

Bernstein:  That’s what I thought. The Chronicle reported eight hours. That’s why I never trust them. And where were you being held?

Cooper:  In a room right next to the death chamber, the death chamber waiting room. At various points in time, I was in different parts of the prison. I was over here where I am now, called the East Block, when they moved me to another part of the prison, called Mulstaic which is right above the Death House, and they moved me down inside the death chamber waiting room. 

Bernstein:  Kevin Cooper, it must have been a devastating experience, coming three hours within your life knowing, feeling in your heart that you’re an innocent man. Could you describe what happens, what was going on and the impact that has on you as a person?

Cooper:  No, I can’t. That’s how unbelievable it is – you have to experience it to truly appreciate and understand it. It has an effect on you emotionally, psychologically, mentally, spiritually, I mean, it’s a life-altering event. It’s so real. It’s so real that it seems unreal. There’s no way I can honestly do this --what happened to me or to anyone else that was tortured and murdered by any state in any death house in this country.

Bernstein:  They put you through a ritual, don’t they, in which they’re, in essence, attempting to get your cooperation in your own killing, in your own murder.

Cooper:  Exactly. They want you to be complicit. Exactly. They want you to participate. They want you to make them feel good about killing you. And I refuse to do that. I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t eat their food, I couldn’t do anything that they wanted me to do. They asked me or told me to choose the method by which I wanted them to murder me by. I couldn’t do that. How can I do that? Look how sick that even sounds like. They kept asking did I want a last meal and, if so, what did I want? I wanted to eat good food. I don’t want to choose the method by which they were to murder me, how they were going to torture me. That’s for them to decide. I can’t deal with that. That’s how unreal the situation is.

Bernstein:  Also in the studio is Leslie Kean. She is a former producer and host of Flashpoints, a friend of Cooper’s who has done extensive research on the case. Leslie.

Kean:  Kevin, hi, it’s Leslie Kean. In order to bring the story up to date, we’ve talked about how you came so close to being executed. After the whole ritualistic thing was over and you were back in your cell, and you have maintained your position as an activist… But how did you recover? If you could describe, and I know you said it’s really, really hard to describe, but the first few weeks after this horrific attempt on your life, how did you actually recover from that and kind of bounce back into the struggle that you’ve been carrying on so powerfully ever since?

Cooper:  Well, I’ve been blessed to have friends out here such as yourself who’ve taken time out of their lives to come and visit me at this plantation, and visit me, spend quality time with me. I read a lot of books. I do my artwork which, to me, is kind of a therapeutic type thing, it helps me escape the reality of this hectic day-to-day life in this place. And so, through a combination of things, through a combination of willpower, because I understand that if I don’t recover, if I didn’t recover, then these people would win.  And I’m not about to let them win if I can help it. I had to find my inner spirit and somehow I managed to do it, but it was hard then and it’s still hard now.

Bernstein:  What are you reading now?

Cooper:  Right now, I’m reading Slavery By Another Name. And that is by Douglas A. Black.

Kean:  And you just finished Mumia Abu-Jamal’s book, is that right?

Cooper:  Yeah. Jailhouse Lawyers. I read a lot of different books, and I do a lot of artwork, and I write a lot.  I mean, I do a variety of different things, you know, in order to live, to live here on death row.

Kean:  And a big part of what you do, Kevin Cooper, is you are an activist.  From that cell, you deal with a lot of activists in the Bay Area and around the country.  You’re part of a movement to abolish the death penalty, and play a very important role in that.  Can you describe what role that activism plays in your life and how that keeps you going in prison?

Cooper:  Well, this activism has allowed me to vindicate myself because I do feel vindicated with [what] those eleven justices on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals have just done.  Not only have they believed that I am innocent, and they agreed that I’m innocent, they agreed that they have proven my innocence and proven how the state of California went about framing me. It is all in the first 105 pages.  Without this movement, a lot of the things that I now know, even the lawyers that took on this case pro bono, which is Orrick, Herrington, and Sutliffe, none of that would have came about without the movement, without this activism.  Every single person that has ever done anything in this movement, to help expose corruption in any death penalty case, any case here, lay the foundation for us to walk on and to build what’s happening in my filing.

Kean:  And you just made reference to this filing.  Just so people know what you made reference to about the eleven judges, there was a filing on May 11 in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as Dennis mentioned earlier, actually denying you a rehearing, but what was really important about that was the fact that you had eleven judges who dissented in 101 pages, as you just mentioned.  And I want to get into what some of the points are that these judges made and some of the statements that they made.

Why don’t you talk about, first of all, it was a very, very powerful dissent, laying out all the details of your case.  What was your reaction when you read that?

Cooper:  Vindication!  I felt, no matter what happens to me, whether these people go ahead and torture me and murder me, no matter what happens to me, I did what I set out to do.  And we as a movement did what we set out to do.  And that is, prove that I am innocent.  There is no way in the world that eleven federal circuit judges would come to the conclusions that they came to if it weren’t the truth.  These people don’t deal with lies, they deal with the truth.  Now there are other judges up there who know the truth, but they haven’t said anything.  They’ve either just ignored it or said it was procedurally broad.  They’ve never said that we were lying.  They didn’t say that the stuff didn’t happen; they just said it’s procedurally broad or too late or this or that or it’s a harmless error or this or that.  But they’ve never said I was lying.  Now these other judges, these eleven, and they’re Republicans and Democrats, even the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, who’s a Republican, a right-wing conservative Republican, is on my side.

Bernstein:  And again, to be clear, as we quoted in the introduction, the writer, the judge who wrote the hundred-plus page dissent, Judge Fletcher, said that the state may be about to execute an innocent man.  So he didn’t really restrain in any way from suggesting that the state could become a murderer once again.

Cooper:  What Judge Fletcher stated was not just present day fact, it’s historical fact.  You see, history is my teacher, history has exposed all types of things to me, good and bad about this country.  And the one thing that is most definitely timely is that this country was founded upon killing innocent people.  It was built upon killing innocent people.  And it was maintained, and is being maintained to date, on killing innocent people.  And so this is something that this country has always done.  This is why they don’t ever seem to blink an eye about it.  This is how they can say that it’s not unconstitutional to kill an innocent person – because they’ve always done it.  And somehow or another, when we find a constitutional violation, they seem to bypass them or to get around them, say that it is procedurally wrong, because this is what they do, all they know.  So I’m not surprised that they’ll kill me as an innocent man, but what I am surprised about is that these judges – and it’s not just one judge, it’s not just him, it’s ten others with him, and there’s others that just didn’t say nothing but also agreed with him.

Bernstein:  Well, the point here is that eleven federal judges have opposed the recent decision by the Ninth Circuit to deny you this important new hearing. …
Kean:  Kevin, just to give people some examples of some of the corruption that has gone on in your case…First of all, you were convicted in 1983 for murdering four people and I just want to give you the chance to make the point…You have always stated from the very beginning that you were innocent of this crime, correct?

Cooper:  Exactly.  Yes, I have.

Kean:  And one of the things that the judge pointed out in this recent ruling was that certain evidence in your original trial in 1983 was withheld from the jury.  And if that evidence had been introduced, you would very likely not have been convicted.  Can you give us some examples of some of the key pieces of evidence that were not included?

Cooper:  Well, there was a pair of bloody coveralls that a lady turned over to the police, and told them that her boyfriend, who was a convicted murderer, left at her house.  And they were covered in blood.  And she and her sister seen him getting out of a car that matched the description of the victim’s stolen car.  And things of that nature.  And they just threw those coveralls away.  So what they did was, by throwing those coveralls away, they eliminated the jury from learning about the coveralls, from learning about the guy who left them at her house, learning about he was a convicted murderer, learning about a whole bunch of stuff.  They denied me due process on that.  They also withheld evidence that the warden at CIM [California Institution for Men, a medium security prison] at that time, her name was Ms. Carroll, she told them that the tennis shoes that they tried to say that I had were not prison-issue tennis shoes, as they claimed they were.  Because those tennis shoes were supposed to have matched an imprint that they had found in blood on the victim’s bedsheet that they did not find at the crime scene, but somehow they found at the crime lab.  So it’s stuff like this, when you listen to me talk about it, it don’t sound real, but this is so real.  This is so real.  They’re getting ready to kill me by just making evidence disappear.  There was a blue shirt that they found.  They threw it away.  They didn’t tell nobody.  We didn’t even know it existed until 2004 when we got some police logs that happened to mention that somebody called the police and told them about a blue shirt.  The police went and picked it up.  And on the police log is the evidence of pick up and the shirt was in connection with the Ryen-Hughes murder.

Kean:  Absolutely so.  Yes, these are just some examples that we see this in other cases in this country, where people are wrongfully convicted.  And Judge Fletcher actually wrote in his summary of his 101-page statement here, “Given the weakness of the evidence against Cooper, if the state had given Cooper’s attorneys this exculpatory evidence, it is highly unlikely that Cooper would have been convicted.”  So your original trial was a problem.  And, of course, there have been many other things since then that have developed.  And the other thing that Judge Fletcher has focused on is the issue of evidence having been tampered with, both at the time of the trial and in the years following.  So do you want to talk about that aspect a little bit?

Cooper:  Well, they tampered with…I had some DNA testing on a drop of blood that they had claimed was found inside the victim’s house.  It was supposed to be one drop of blood.  So I asked them, when the evidence came around, I asked for it.  And at first the state said, “No.”  I asked again and they said, “No.”  I asked again and they said, “No” and then the fourth time, they happened to say, “Yes.”  But what they didn’t tell us was before they said yes, they let the criminalist who was messing with it at that trial, to go down there and take it out for 24 hours along with my saliva and other evidence, my other blood that they took from me when I was arrested.  And they didn’t tell nobody. 

So then this guy puts it back after having it out 24 hours.  And we found out about it.  We found out about it after the DNA tests were done and the DNA test come back and said that was mine.  So what’s stuff like that?  One cigarette butt had a yellow filter in 1983, and in 2001 when there was DNA testing, they had a white filter.  And it was 4 mm in length in, I think it was 1983, and it turns out to have been 7.7 mm in 2001.  How does the cigarette grow after they’ve taken it apart and tested?  And then, they put it back together.  I mean, with stuff like this that we proved, we have photographic evidence of all this stuff I’m saying, and these people, this court system, just ignored everything.  They just ignored it, or acted like it didn’t exist, or they made excuses for it, and the bottom line is they’re giving me the type of trial that they gave Dred Scott back in 1857.  They’re saying that this man don’t have no rights at all that a white man, and in this case, a white woman,  a guard, is bound to respect because they messed over all my life, every last single one of them, in order to kill me for something that I did not do. 

Even Joshua Ryen, who was a child at the time, he told them people, when he saw my face on TV, that Kevin Cooper didn’t do it, that it was three white men.  I believe that Judge Fletcher mentions that in his dissent as well.  Well, if Joshua Ryen had of saw my picture on TV and said, “Yeah, that was him,” well they would have used that against me.  But he said no, it wasn’t me.  He told his grandmother it wasn’t me, he told other people it wasn’t me.  He told the police it wasn’t me.

Kean:  And just so people know, there were four people that were murdered.  Joshua Ryen was a young boy in the family that was killed.  He was not killed, but severely injured during the assault on his family.  So he was basically the only living witness…

Bernstein:  The only eyewitness, right?

Kean:  And the only living eyewitness, and he was interviewed very shortly after this crime by two different people in the hospital, and did indicate that there were three white men that committed the crime.

Cooper:  In fact, they even found a police log in 2004, the same time they found that police log about that missing blue shirt, that indicated that they were looking for three young males driving the car they took.

Bernstein:  A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is sort of negative in that the entire court voted against your request for a new rehearing, but eleven federal judges are saying based on lack of due process or their belief that you are guilty…

Cooper:  You mean, their belief that I am innocent.

Bernstein:  Exactly.  And what I want to ask you, in terms of the entire process you’ve been talking with Leslie about – jury tampering, messing about with evidence, ignoring an eyewitness account, could you talk about the nature of some of the personnel and how racism plays into that?

Cooper:  Down there in San Bernardino County where this case happened, is one of the racist counties in this state.  I mean, shortly after my arrest, they had a gorilla hung in effigy with a sign that said “Hang the troglodyte”, speaking about me, calling me a troglodyte.  They wanted to get their hands on Kevin Cooper so they can mete their justice, you know the type of justice they always give black men who are accused of...

Bernstein:  Say that again?  Explain that again.

Cooper:  They had a gorilla hung in effigy.  And it had a sign that said, Hang the troglodyte.”  And they were calling me a troglodyte.  And they said they wanted to get their hands on me.  They wanted to give me justice, their form of justice.

Bernstein:  And – by the way, I said “jury tampering”; I meant evidence tampering.  What about questionable personnel and actions by personnel regarding the actual chain of custody of evidence, and so on and so forth?

Cooper:  I’ll put it to you like this.  The head criminalist, the person who was in charge of all the evidence that they used to convict me, was a heroin addict.  He was fired shortly after my conviction for stealing five pounds of heroin out of the evidence locker.

Bernstein:  His name?

Cooper:  William Baird.  He was a lieutenant, I believe.  And he was using that heroin for his own personal use and to sell to drug dealers.  Now, he didn’t stand trial.  He didn’t do no time in prison or nothing, obviously.  They just let him go.  And this is the man who had another pair of tennis shoes just like the ones they claimed I had, which I didn’t have.  He had a pair like that in the crime lab.  He had all types of stuff in the crime lab.  If you read Fletcher’s dissent, everything is in there.  If anybody takes the time and looks it up and reads it, it’ll piss you off so much that you might even want to get involved in this movement -- if you’re not already in it – to try to help save my life. 

Because this is American justice, old school style.  This is what they used to do to black men back in the day.  This is what they are doing in the twenty-first century.  But they’re not just doing it to me, Dennis.  When I asked people to believe me, they wouldn’t do it.  So I’m asking them to believe this judge.  And if you believe that judge and all the other judges that are going along with him, then you have to ask yourself a bigger question.  You have to ask yourself, “If they did this to Kevin Cooper, and these judges are saying they did, then how many other men and women are on death row or in prison in this country that had the same thing done to them by the same type of people that’s doing this to Kevin?”  I am not so special of a person that these people will go out of their way to frame me and not do it to anyone else.  I’m not the only person that they’d tell that about, I’m not the only person who they tampered with evidence, or threw away evidence, or do what they do, tampered with witnesses or whatever.  This is in the system so deeply that people need to start to think, to put an end to this mess, that’s how I really feel.  After you read that, it has to open a person’s eyes, if they want their eyes to be opened.

Bernstein:  By the way, if you want to know a lot more about this case, more information about the case, you can go to – is that correct? and find out more information.  There’s a petition there you might want to know more about that calls for – Leslie…

Kean:  On this website,, there will be a link where people can go and read this recent filing by the Ninth Circuit.  This is really an historic filing.  It’s very rare that eleven judges will dissent in a hundred pages, 101 pages, so we encourage every one to go to, get a link to the petition or the recent filing in the court, and you can read it for yourself.  It lays out everything about his case that you would want to know.

Bernstein:  Now we’re going to get cut off in a second.  When we come back, we’re gonna talk more about the case and more about the systematic injustice system that railroads poor people and people of color to the death house.  We’re speaking with Kevin Cooper at San Quentin, facing death. …

Kevin, one of the things we say on this program, we refer to it not as a matter of hyperbole, but we refer to the justice system as the criminal injustice system because there is a pattern and practice of racism and a situation where if you don’t have the money, usually to pay for the lawyers, you end up on death row and you die without a proper defense.  You have become an expert in understanding how the system works and how it is stacked up against poor people and people of color.  Could you talk a little bit about your research and your activities in this regard?

Cooper:  Yes.  I had an attorney that was appointed to me by a federal district judge, Marilyn Huff.  His name was Robert Amadon.  Marilyn Huff is the same judge that Judge Fletcher talks about very badly in his dissent.  But this man, who was a criminal attorney, damn near got me executed because everything he did was against my best interests.  But nonetheless, he was still getting paid, him and the people he had working with him.

So in this movement, I decided to take matters into my own hands because I have learned, as I said earlier, history is my teacher, and I have learned that, historically speaking, we people who are locked in these prisons have these attorneys who, for the most part, don’t give a damn about us because all we are to them is a paycheck.  But I cared about me enough to get involved with this movement, to get involved with the campaign to end the death penalty from a socialist viewpoint, with socialist action, with a whole bunch of other different organizations and people, and together, we all formulated a plan.  And the plan was to educate the public.  And we did this, over and over and over again for years and years and years.  And this is how, just before these people want to murder me, I somehow managed to get in touch with The Innocence Project and Santa Clara University.

And they ended up finding this law firm now, who took my case, Orrick, Herrington, and Sutliffe, and they did it pro bono.  Now this law firm, [that] was a white collar or corporate law firm, saved my life!  They’re not a criminal law firm.  The criminal lawyer, who worked in the criminal justice system, damn near got me killed.  Well this right there says a lot about this system, like the difference being the fact that caring, but they also had the money.  And money makes a difference.  And through their hard work, they completely turned this case around.  They got me a stay and they found out all this new evidence that we have now.  And this evidence is what Fletcher speaks about in his dissent.  Most of it we didn’t know.

But if you don’t have a committee of people, whether they’re lawyers or not, in your corner, you’re in trouble.  If you don’t have people who care about you, who will fight for you and fight with you, you’re dead.  And if you don’t have a powerful law firm, or powerful people, lawyers who care, who have the money to fight back, you’re damn sure dead.  But I do know this:  that if you keep on fighting, keep on working and don’t give up, there’s a chance.  I had a chance.  I mean, look at the law firm I have now and the work that they did and the evidence they uncovered, and the constitutional violations they discovered, I found out.  And I’m still one decision away from being tortured and murdered by the state once they restart this killing machine up here in San Quentin prison.  And believe me, I will be tortured in this prison just as well as or as good as any other person has been tortured in these death houses across this country.  Make no mistake about that.  Because these people tell you they don’t torture, because they tell you that this is humane, no, you don’t believe them, you can’t believe them.  Through history tells you not to believe them.  And I do not look forward to being tortured and murdered by the state of California. 

Bernstein:  Now it’s interesting, I think it’s important to note, as you refer to torture and murder in every part of this process, is that including the actual murder by lethal injection, it is interesting and important to note that one of the judges that supports your murder is named Judge Bybee and he was a key player in the Bush administration’s torture program.  Does that interest you?

Cooper:  In 2004, I received a 9-2 decision for a stay.  One of the two judges that refused to give me that stay was Judge Bybee.  And now we come to find out that Judge Bybee was also one of the people who wrote those torture memos for the Bush-Cheney administration allowing torture to happen to criminals or people they consider criminals, whether it is at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay or any other place around the world, he’s fine with them being tortured there, but he’s also fine with them being tortured here because he supports the death penalty.  So torture is part of what he believes in.  But these people that he’s torturing, and that he believes in torture are all poor people.  Not rich people, but poor people, and mostly people of color.  He ain’t got no problem with that.  Yet he can sit his ass upon the Ninth Circuit like some guard, and dictate who should live and who should die and who should be tortured and who shouldn’t.

Bernstein:  He may find himself before too long in some kind of dock in the various international tribunals -- facing what?  Crimes against humanity.

Cooper:  Yeah, right.  I’ll believe that when I see it.

Bernstein:  You’ve done a lot of research on this.  And I’m noting that more and more poor women are on death row.  People don’t realize that there’s a death row at Chowchilla where many women are facing death.  Is this a part of there are more and more poor people, so there will be more and more women who find themselves facing this similar situation?

Cooper:  Historically speaking, women have always been on death row, whether that death row has been in their own homes where they’ve been victims of domestic violence or whether they’re shot and killed in the street or in prison.  But there’s never much said about it.  But believe me, these women that are down there most definitely are all poor.  They have never been given “equal rights” in their entire life.  And for the first time in their life, if they do get executed, they’ll be given equal rights.  They’ll have equality of a man death row inmate because they’ll get the same amount of poison pumped in their body as I’ll get pumped into mine.  So this is how they look at it because that’s the reality of this situation.  These women, who are victims of all types of things, suffer in silence today as they have historically.  You never hear the news media talk about women on death row in this state.  But one day, you will.  And they’ll talk about them so proudly.  For the first time in so many years, the state of California’s going to execute a woman.  You know, that’s a damn shame; that’s a disgusting thing that these people do.  But they’ll do it.  Other states have.

Kean: Kevin, you mentioned earlier about the importance of having good lawyers and how very few death row inmates have them.  We know you have good lawyers, but we also know it’s extremely important that people get involved and fight for your case.  You need all the help you can get because you’re really going to be facing some serious possibility of being executed.  And one person at this station certainly covered a lot was Stanley “Tookie” Williams, who indeed, also as I understand it, and I think he had pretty good lawyers, he got a lot of attention.  And he was executed.  He was also a friend of yours.  And you were able to help him out along the years that you knew each other.  And I’m just wondering if you could share with our listeners some of the information, some of the story of your relationship with him.

Cooper:  He is my friend; he will always be my friend.  He’s my brother; he will always be my brother, regardless of what Schwarzenegger or anybody else thinks about him.  He’s a good man and it wasn’t so much that I taught him anything.  I learned more from him than I could ever teach him, except when it came to the fact of him going through this ritual death the way they wanted to search his arms for his veins, the way they wanted to send a psychiatrist to his house and see if he was all right, the way he was going to mess with him psychologically.  He didn’t know about that because he’d never been through it before.  And as I said, before me, everybody else who had been through it ended up dying, so nobody knew what to expect.  But because I got that stay, I was there to show him what I went through.  So that is how I taught him a thing or two.  But other than that, it was…  They tortured him, and they murdered him and it came out in Fogel’s court that they did it, and they’re going to do the same thing to me and to everybody else.  They’re just going to try to go about it differently.

Bernstein:  And when we say torture, again, that includes a process by which they’ve deceived the public into suggesting and believing that lethal injection, this three-stage process, is humane.  Could you please talk a little bit more about how that is massive and troubling torture?

Cooper:  It’s not humane; there’s no…If this system was humane, they wouldn’t have to lie about it, they wouldn’t have to lie about the people , not just in this state but across the country, who’ve been tortured in these death houses.  If it was humane, then the medical society, doctors and them, would be participating in it.  But it’s not humane, it’s inhumane.  People won’t even kill animals the same way they’re willing to kill us in this state and across the country.  This lethal cocktail that they use has been banned by the people who murder animals.  They won’t use that to kill an animal with.  So, no, this is not humane, this is inhumane, this is torture.  And because that poison that they pump in your body, you feel that.  They’ve just got you paralyzed so you can’t screw it up.  And then they tell people who witness body contortions and all these things, that their lying eyes didn’t see what their eyes told their brain they saw.  This system is sick and the people who run it are sick.  So no, I do not look forward to being strapped down on that gurney and have them put their needles in my arm and pump their poison in my body.  I do not look forward to that process at all.  And I am an innocent man.  I had eleven, eleven federal circuit judges telling the world, warning the world, not just telling them, but warning them, that this state is about to execute an innocent man.  And what’s the world going to do?  They’re gonna step up to the plate and show everyone how humane you are or are they just going to turn a blind eye to my murder like they do everyone else, because [connection was cut off]

Bernstein:  All right.  We spoke with Kevin Cooper.  We’ve been listening to an interview with Kevin Cooper. 

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