Death Penalty Case Study: Kevin Cooper

Yet another reason to vote NO on Prop 34.

As California voters decide whether to side with the ACLU and other liberal special interests to get rid of the death penalty, the No on 34 campaign continues its profiles of the “worst of the worst” convicted murderers on death row. Here is another killer who would be spared if Proposition 34 passes in November.

In June 1983, Kevin Cooper escaped from a minimum security prison in Chino, CA. After hiding in an empty house, he attacked the Ryen family next door, killing Doug and Peggy Ryen, their 10-year-old daughter Jessica and 11-year-old family friend Chris Hughes. 8-year-old Joshua Ryen survived.

The victims had died from numerous chopping wounds later determined to have been inflicted by a hatchet or axe and stab wounds inflicted by both a knife and an ice pick. Cooper was arrested on a boat near Santa Barbara two days later. In 1985 he was sentenced to death for the murders.

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Marc Perkel November 03, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Kevin Cooper was not on death row so if there is a death penalty or not it wouldn't have made a difference in the case you cited. And since he was sentenced to death for murder the death penalty being out there clearly didn't deter him. So - yeah - on a primal gut level I'd like to see people like him tortured to death. But California spends billions on a death system that only killed 13 people and people on death row get better treatment than those getting life in prison. There is no perfect solution to this problem. I'm voting yes and with some regret. But when to take everything into consideration yes it the better choice.
Marc Klaas November 04, 2012 at 08:20 PM
Executing death row prisoners not only deters them from killing again, but discourages others from following a similar path. Common sense, and many studies have determined this to be so time and time again. We don't "torture" death row prisoners to death. In fact, they eat pie and go to sleep for eternity. If you regret voting Yes on 34, then you should vote No on 34.
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