I, KEVIN COOPER, am writing this from death row at San Quentin Prison. I am scheduled to be the next Black man executed by the state of California on February 10th, 2004.
While I am an innocent man about to be murdered by this state, I realize that innocence makes no difference to the people who control the criminal justice system, including this prison. This is the same system that has historically and systematically executed men, women and children who look just like me, if only because they can.
While it is my life that will be taken, and my body filled with poison, I will not say that this is my execution! That’s because it is not, it is just a continuation of the historic system of capital punishment that all poor people all over this world have been and are subjected to.
To personalize this crime against humanity as “my execution” would be to ignore the universal plight, struggle and murder of poor people all over this planet we call Earth. Thi! s I cannot and will not do!
I will be murdered by the state with my understanding that this crime of evil is something that happens to men like me in this country. Especially when we are convicted (wrongfully, in my situation) of killing white people!
If I must be murdered by the state, then I will do so with my dignity in tact. This guilt that the criminal justice system has put on me will be questioned by anyone and everyone who finds out the whole truth of this case.
In Struggle, From Death Row at San Quentin Prison,
For more on the Cooper case visit: www.savekevincooper.org/