Kim Kardashian is now supporting a 'wrongly-convicted' death row inmate

Section
Celebrity,
Publish Date
Sunday, 17 June 2018, 3:26PM

After successfully seeing 63-year-old grandmother Alice Johnson's sentence commuted, Kim Kardashian has turned her sights on helping another prisoner she believes may have been wrongfully convicted.

The reality queen took to Twitter on Saturday to question the incarceration of Kevin Cooper, who has been behind bars for 33 years and will face the death penalty for the murders of four people, including two 10-year-old children.

The California man has been fighting to have evidence in his case re-examined for years, as he, his legal team and five judges believe he was wrongly convicted, reports Daily Mail.

David Alexander - the person who saved Cooper from the death penalty in 2014 just three hours and 20 minutes before he was to be executed and has been working on his behalf ever since - has asked Governor Jerry Brown to order a review of his case, with no success.

He and Cooper want new DNA testing to be performed on evidence they believe was tampered with.

Alexander has made it clear they are not asking for a pardon or commutation of Cooper's sentence, just new testing they believe will exonerate the 60-year-old and hopefully implicate the real killers.

"All we're asking for is testing, [we're] not rushing to demand release," Alexander told DailyMail.com on Saturday.

He said he and Cooper's legal team had approached then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for help, and Alexander said he expressed concern about the evidence presented against Cooper, but referred it on to incoming Governor Jerry Brown.

Brown is yet to act on requests for retesting of evidence in Cooper's case, labelling it a "complicated" situation.

"It is inexplicable to everyone who is familiar with the case why Governor Brown will not order the retesting be done," Alexander said.

"It is not a complicated case - it is a case with lots of instances of law enforcement misconduct.

"We've already proven the blood on the t-shirt was planted, then the person who did the testing withdrew the results, claiming contamination, and we could not get copies of the report."

Kevin Cooper was sentenced to death in 1985 for the brutal slaying of Douglas and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter Jessica, and 10-year-old Chris Hughes, who was staying at their house in the Los Angeles suburb of Chino Hills.

Their eight-year-old son Josh was the only survivor, even though he had his throat slit, and his account of that night would be the key to the prosecution's case.

Josh Ryen was the only survivor of the murder, and told police he had seen three white men at the home before his throat was slit. Photo / Supplied

Initially, police were looking for three white or Mexican men, based on Josh's recollection of the horrific killings and evidence which suggested there were multiple people involved in the crime.

Witnesses also said they had seen three white men driving a station wagon, believed to be the family car, away from the home - but police continued to focus on Cooper.

Cooper had recently escaped from a minimum security prison, and was hiding out at a home nearby, The New York Times reported.

Prosecutors said a footprint of a prison issued shoe was at the home, as were cigarette butts with Cooper's DNA on them, and Josh eventually changed his story to say he saw a black man at the scene, not three white men.

Cooper was sentenced to death in 1985, but during his appeal, retesting of evidence, including a t-shirt believed to have belonged to the killer, was found to have Cooper's blood - and test tube preservative on it.

This indicated the blood on the shirt had been put there from inside a test tube of Cooper's blood, not splattered on during the quadruple murder.

The test tube containing Cooper's blood had DNA of at least two people inside, suggesting someone may have taken blood out of it and topped it up to cover up their actions.

Kevin Cooper and his legal team believe he was wrongly convicted and evidence was planted to incriminate him. Photo / Supplied

Evidence of another man being involved in the killing is overwhelming - Jessica, the 10-year-old girl who was murdered, died with a chunk of light hair in her hand, and the ex-wife of a convicted murderer who lived nearby said the man had come to her home covered in blood and there was a hatchet missing from her home.

Alexander told DailyMail.com his client is 'innocent' and had been both 'wrongfully incarcerated for 33 years and wrongfully convicted'.

He says he and Cooper would be "happy to speak or meet with Ms Kardashian", and said "of course" her efforts would make a difference.

"I think support from any people who are interested in justice is important," he said.

"I don't know her from Adam, but I believe her speaking out and gathering other people in Hollywood to speak out, or anyone who is interested in criminal justice - speaking out and telling this Governor to have moral leadership - to have courage - to be better than his best excuses - [is a positive thing]."

Kardashian made headlines earlier this month after meeting with President Donald Trump following months of campaigning for the release of Alice Johnson - a 63-year-old woman who was sentenced to life behind bars for her minor role in a drug trafficking syndicate.

Johnson, who had been behind bars for 20 years, had her sentence commuted earlier this month - and Kardashian was widely credited for her release.

DailyMail.com have contacted Kim Kardashian for comment, but did not receive a response before publication.