San Quentin Death Row Inmate Asks Schwarzenegger For Clemency

SAN QUENTIN (KCBS) – A convicted killer on San Quentin’s death row is asking Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant him clemency as one of his last acts as governor.

Schwarzenegger has until Sunday to decide Kevin Cooper’s fate whether it be a grant for clemency or the death sentence.

In June of 1983 a Chino Hills California couple, their 10-year-old daughter and 11-year-old family friend, were murdered in their home.

The couple’s eight-year-old son, whose throat was slashed, survived.

The area’s assemblyman Curt Hagman said Kevin Cooper, who was convicted of the crime 25 years ago, did it.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth:

“This man took a hatchet and literally hacked up a family that was living there and it’s been a horrible memory for those who still live in Chino Valley today,” said Hagman.

DNA evidence linked Cooper to the crime, but his attorney Norman Hile said the evidence was tampered with, destroyed, and hidden in order to “frame him”.

Hile said more proof of doubt came in 2009, when five appeals-court judges signed a dissenting opinion stating Cooper is probably innocent.

“We should not have somebody executed so we don’t face what’s happened in Texas recently, which is after people were executed that people were found out to be innocent,” said Hile.

Governor Schwarzenegger already denied a clemency request from Cooper back in 2004 just months into his governorship.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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