Kim Kardashian Visits Death Row Prisoner Convicted Of Murder In Hopes Of Exoneration

Photo: Gotham/GC Images.
Kim Kardashian West has found a passion for reforming the criminal justice system, and has been working to free innocent people from prison. Kardashian is currently studying law to pass the bar exam. As part of her apprenticeship with a Bay Area-based law firm, she met with Kevin Cooper, who is currently incarcerated on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California.
Cooper was convicted in 1983 of murdering three members of the Ryen family, Douglas, Jessica, and Peggy, and Christopher Hughes, who was spending the night with them. Cooper says he escaped from prison and was staying at a vacant house next door to where the murders took place, but did not commit the murders.
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“I had an emotional meeting with Kevin Cooper yesterday at San Quentin’s death row,” Kardashian West wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of herself with Cooper. “I found him to be thoughtful and honest and I believe he is innocent of the crimes for which he was convicted.” She also wrote that she is “hopeful that Kevin will be exonerated since DNA testing has now been ordered on Kevin’s case,” and commended Gov. Gavin Newsom for placing a moratorium on capital punishment in California earlier this year.
Cooper’s family attorney asserts there are numerous inconsistencies in the state’s case, and alleges misconduct by law enforcement and prosecutors. According to a 2018 op-ed by the New York Times, physical evidence might implicate another suspect entirely.
His case has been working through the California state appeals system. Cooper was denied clemency by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was initially scheduled to be executed in 2004. Since then, Gov. Jerry Brown and Newsom have taken an interest in his case; Brown ordered the testing of DNA material evidence, and Newsom expanded on that order to include other pieces of physical evidence.
Kardashian West has stated she has found purpose in working to free innocent prisoners. She appealed to President Donald Trump on behalf of Alice Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for drug trafficking. Trump commuted her sentence, and she was released from prison in 2018.
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