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For the past 38 years Kevin Cooper has remained on California's death row, serving a sentence for a crime he says he did not commit. The evidence in support of his innocence is compelling. The DNA from his case, which has degraded over the decades of authorities refusing to do the testing, did not concretely point to a new suspect. However, an orange towel found at the crime scene yielded a full DNA profile that does not match Cooper or the victims. If they are able to find a match for the DNA, they may be able to find the person actually responsible for the death of the Ryen family and Chris Hughes.

While the DNA was being tested, a witness came forward about a different suspect who recounted his involvement in the murders. Two other witnesses have said they would be willing to testify that this suspect bragged to them recently about killing the family. This suspect is a convicted murderer who had served his sentence and was less than a year out of prison when the crime was committed.

The evidence of Cooper's innocence is gaining recognition in criminal justice circles. A 100-page dissent by four federal circuit court judges warned that California was preparing to execute an innocent man. William A. Fletcher, one of the judges in the dissent, said in a lecture, "The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department framed him."


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