June 23rd 2003 – People of the State of California vs. Kevin Cooper

The Judge Kennedy proceedings considered motions filed by Mr. Cooper requesting mitochondrial DNA testing, claims of evidence tampering, and post-conviction discovery.

Specifically, the motions were:
  1. A request that hairs recovered from the victims’ hands to be analyzed using mtDNA testing. Mr. Cooper contended that the victims pulled at the hair of the assailant in attempts to defend themselves, therefore, in testing, he could be excluded as the donor of those hairs.
  2. A claim that law enforcement personnel tampered with or contaminated evidence. Mr. Cooper argued that numerous pieces of evidence related to his case had been checked out for over 24-hours in 1999 prior to the nuclear DNA testing in 2002.
  3. A request for additional testing to bloodstains on the bloodstained tan shirt for enzymes that would indicate if the blood had been in a test tube, a sign that his blood had been intentionally planted.
On July 2nd 2003, Judge Kennedy denied all three requests, concluding:
  1. Mr. Cooper failed to show that testing of the hairs recovered from the hands of the victims would be material to the determination of the identity of the perpetrator.
  2. Mr. Cooper had not made any showing that law enforcement personnel tampered with or contaminated any evidence.
  3. The request to further test the bloodstained tan shirt failed because it did not comply with Penal Code 1405(f), a set of requirements needed to obtain a court ordered DNA testing subsequent to a guilty verdict.

Later in 2003, Judge Kennedy would direct the warden at San Quentin to execute Kevin Cooper at 12:01 AM on February 10th 2004. Mr. Cooper was granted a stay of execution 8 hours prior to that scheduled time.



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