A letter to Jerry Brown

Dear Governor Brown,

By now you are aware of Nicholas Kirstof’s piece[1] in The New York Times in which he presents abundant evidence that investigators and prosecutors framed Kevin Cooper for the murder of four people in Chino.

Advanced DNA testing could produce potentially exculpatory evidence. Or not. But the truth must be pursued. You have rejected calls to exercise the authority of your office to order such testing. It beggars belief that you would not use that authority wisely in the search for truth, when the evidence was distorted for malicious purposes is so strong.

You have erroneously asserted that no one on death row is innocent, but this is clearly untrue. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences[2] suggests that as many as 1 in 25 persons on death row is innocent. While it may not be politically expedient to do so, the search for truth in this case of apparent injustice must be allowed to proceed.

Alan Kendall Duncan.


  1. Was Kevin Cooper Framed for Murder: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/05/17/opinion/sunday/kevin-cooper-california-death-row.html

  2. "Rate of false conviction of criminal defendants who are sentenced to death", Samuel R. Gross, Barbara O’Brien, Chen Hu, Edward H. Kennedy
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 2014, 111 (20) 7230-7235; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1306417111.