February 22, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order for the retesting of additional evidence in the case of Kevin Cooper.

“The purpose of testing these evidentiary items in addition to the four items of evidence referenced in the December 24, 2018, Executive Order, is to determine whether Kevin Cooper’s DNA, another suspected person’s DNA, and/or the DNA of any other identifiable suspect based on a match in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, is present on the items tested.”

Governor Newsom Executive Order


August 17, 2018, Kevin Cooper responds to the Office of the Governor’s request for additional information in order to complete their evaluation to allow additional testing:

“Nothing could be more important to the integrity of our justice system than ensuring that an innocent person is not executed.”

Norman Hile, Attorney at Law

2018-08-17 – Response Letter – Keven Cooper Clemency Request

New York Times article on Kevin Cooper Case:

One Test Could Exonerate Him. Why Won’t California Do It?

“We owe it to the victims of this horrible crime, to Kevin Cooper, and to ourselves to get this one right.”

Judge William A. Fletcher

In 2009, referring to Mr. Cooper’s case, five federal judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals signed an 82 page dissenting opinion that begins: “The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.”  Six additional Ninth Circuit judges joined in the dissent, saying Mr. Cooper has never had a fair hearing to prove his innocence.

“Significant evidence bearing on Cooper’s culpability has been lost, destroyed or left un-pursued,”

Judge M. Margaret McKeown

In a 2007 opinion for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge McKeown provides illustrative examples of evidentiary gaps, mishandling of evidence and suspicious circumstances in the case of Cooper V. People.