Kim Kardashian West‘s latest crusade for criminal justice reform has gotten a response from California Governor Jerry Brown and her royal celebrity status won’t be enough to change things for one death row inmate.
KKW tweeted a link to a New York Times piece this weekend about Kevin Cooper, a death row inmate in California who claims new DNA testing will exonerate him for the brutal slaying of four people in the 1980s. In her tweet, the mogul implored Gov. Brown to test Cooper’s DNA.
Governor Brown, can you please test the DNA of Kevin Cooper? https://t.co/RyDDOd9kEi
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 16, 2018
“The Governor’s Office has received the clemency petition from Cooper and it remains under review,” a representative from Gov. Brown’s office tells The Blast. “A request for clemency is a serious matter and applications are thoroughly and diligently reviewed. That review will ultimately dictate next steps.”
Kardashian’s celebrity status is undeniable and after her recent success getting President Donald Trump to commute the sentence of low-level drug offender Alice Marie Johnson, many thought it was possible that the reality star’s tweet might sway the governor.
The Gov’s office explained that while some are focused “on a celebrity tweet,” the history of Cooper’s case is long and intricate.
They referred The Blast to a post-conviction order from 2011 that detailed the “many, many proceedings over the years, the long history of extensive testing and the great complexity of this case, which has been before every level of state and federal court multiple times.”
However, several legal experts and even judges have questioned the veracity of Cooper’s murder conviction and Senator Kamala Harris even recently supported testing the DNA evidence in the case.
Additionally, the sole survivor of the massacre (then 8-years-old) has repeatedly maintained that the perpetrators were two or three white men; Cooper is black.
In 1983, Cooper escaped from a minimum-security prison just two days before the gruesome slayings of Peggy and Doug Ryen, their daughter and a friend who was there for a sleepover. While a fugitive, Cooper holed up in an abandoned house close to the crime scene. He was apprehended by police two months later after a rape was reported on a sailboat anchored near Santa Cruz and the victim identified Cooper as the rapist.
According to Gov. Brown’s office, Cooper’s request for clemency remains under review and they emphasized “how seriously the office takes its clemency responsibilities,” Kim Kardashian West notwithstanding.