Is America ‘Civilized’? Not as Long as It Sanctions the Death Penalty

October 24, 2018

This essay was originally published on The ongoing support of capital punishment belies this country’s claim to having moved past the primitive stage of human development. There is no place in a civilized society for capital punishment. That’s why actual civilized societies around the world do not have, use […]

The Death Penalty Is Part of Our Shared and Tortured History

September 23, 2018

This essay was originally published on Understanding our history in this country is important, especially in our present-day reality with Trump in the White House.   The following speech was delivered via telephone at the Death Penalty Focus event held on September 23, 2018. The late James Baldwin stated […]

Lying With a Straight Face

September 3, 2018

This essay was originally published on Wrongly convicted prisoners assert their innocence, and research backs them up, yet some politicians and law enforcement officials continue to propagate lies and prop up an unjust system. DEATH ROW, SAN QUENTIN, Calif.— “There are no innocent people on death row in California.” […]

U.S. Media Do Not Give Us All Sides of the Story by Kevin Cooper

April 10, 2018

Black History Month From Death Row

January 31, 2018

This essay was originally published on The horrible things I suffered in 2004—when California attempted to murder me in its death chamber—should not surprise anyone. Lynchings and executions are a fact of African-American life. Editor’s note: Kevin Cooper was convicted of a 1983 quadruple murder and sentenced to death […]

2018: The Year of the Executioner?

December 31, 2017

This essay was originally published on Justice today is just like the justice of yesteryear, especially when it comes to the use of capital punishment. DEATH ROW, SAN QUENTIN, Calif.—Many years ago, Protestant pastor and poet Martin Niemoller famously wrote of the Nazi era: First they came for the […]

Thanksgiving on Death Row by Kevin Cooper

November 22, 2017

Originally posted on: Thanksgiving on Death Row The author has been in San Quentin since 1985 and is fighting to prevent the state of California from killing him for a murder he says he did not commit. Editor’s note: Kevin Cooper was convicted of a 1983 quadruple murder in […]

Against The Current publishes “The Murder of Kevin Cooper” by Kevin Cooper

September 27, 2017

The Murder of Kevin Cooper Against the Current, No. 190, September/October 2017Originally published at AS I WRITE this to you, I am in a 4 1/2 by 11 foot long cage, with two feet between the side of the bed and the wall for me to walk in. I […]

Custer Died For Their Sins by Kevin Cooper

November 10, 2016

General George Armstrong Custer(1839-1876) paid the ultimate price for the sins of certain white people of his time who committed damn near every type of crime against humanity upon the indigenous peoples of this country. So much so that many different tribes of indigenous peoples came together, some who were […]

Born in the U.S.A. by Kevin Cooper

October 28, 2016

Being born in America for some people, or for a certain group of people, isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Especially when one can end up in jail, or prison, or the graveyard, simply for being who you are, as you were born. Just sitting in your car […]