1/9/04

California Killing:
The Case of Kevin Cooper

By Mumia Abu-Jamal from death row

A man named Kevin Cooper has been given a date to die: On Feb. 10, 2004, the State of California plans to kill him, by pumping him full of poison.

Cooper, convicted back in 1984 of the slaying of 3 members of the Ryen clan, and a visiting family friend, was also charged with stabbing an 8-year old boy, but luckily the child survived.

Why lucky? Well, apart from the obvious reason (his sheer survival), Joshua Ryen saw who attacked him, and upon recovery told police that it was 3 white or Latino men who slew his family, his friend, and tried to kill him.

When young Josh saw TV news accounts of the attacks, he turned to a cop who was present, and exclaimed, when the picture of Kevin Cooper flashed across the screen, "That wasn't the guy who did it. It was 3 Mexicans."

... out of the mouths of babes, eh?

But, San Bernardino officials didn't care; what does it matter that the lone surviving victim cleared their suspect? It meant nothing. They had their man --
and on the 10th of February, they wanna kill him.

Kevin Cooper, now a man of 45 years, has spent the last 19 years of his life on California's Death Row, for a series of brutal crimes -- that he did not commit.

Cooper turned his cell into a school room; studying writing, politics and African-American history. He has grown into a vibrant, talented and educated individual -- yet California still wants to extinguish his light.

It is important to note that he is an African-American man. That wasn't lost during his Dec. 1984 trial, around which time demonstrators, calling for his death, hung a toy gorilla in effigy. Indeed, the media coverage was so hyped, the demonstrations so hostile, that the trial was moved to San Diego.

Not only was the only living eyewitness ignored; but
shortly after the murders, a local woman came forward to tell police that she thought her boyfriend was involved in the grisly killings. Why? When he came home the night of the slayings, she said, he was wearing a pair of overalls, drenched in blood. The woman turned them over to the cops. Before the day was over, the overalls were pitched
into the station's dumpster. Did it matter that the man was wearing a t-shirt the color and brand of the t-shirt found in the scene -- it also, bloody? No. Did it matter that he owned a hatchet, like a weapon used in the Ryen home, and it was conveniently missing from the couple's home. No.

None of it mattered.

They wanted, and focused on, Kevin Cooper; nothing else mattered.

Police and prosecutors told jurors that a bloody shoe- print found at the scene conclusively proved Cooper's guilt. Were the jurors told that Deputy William Baird had a pair of prison shoes in his (crime) lab, which were Cooper's size? What they also didn't know was that the Deputy, post-trial, was fired for stealing five pounds of heroin from the evidence locker -- *five pounds* -- both to use and to sell -- to drug dealers!

Kevin Cooper is on Death Row, awaiting a date with death, based on 'investigators' such as these!

Incredible!

Welcome to the American Way of Death!

Help save--no; help Free Kevin Cooper!

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

(Visit http://www.savekevincooper.org/ and
make sure to check the Feb. 3 Day of Action
Info!)

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
===============================
[Mr. Jamal has written widely about war and other issues. His latest work, *Faith of Our Fathers* (Africa
World Press, 2003) was named one of "The Most Remarkable Books of 2003" by *Black Issues Book Review* (Nov/Dec '03).]

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS: AN EXAMINATION OF THE SPIRITUAL LIFE OF AFRICAN AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE
at www.africanworld.com
================

Mumia Abu-Jamal is also the author of three other books:
'Live from Death Row',
'Death Blossoms', and
'All Things Censored'.

When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about justice."
- Mumia Abu-Jamal

MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY AS POSSIBLE TO INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.
The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to **please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and **especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
THANK YOU!!!

Keep updated by reading ACTION ALERTS!!
at www.mumia.org, www.onamove.org, and their
links.

To download Mp3's of Mumia's commentaries visit
www.prisonradio.org

The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - icffmaj@aol.com
AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

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The Power of Truth is Final -- Free Mumia!

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal