In the first death-penalty case to come before him, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will not hold a hearing on whether to grant clemency to Kevin Cooper, convicted in four 1983 murders. The Los Angeles Times says Schwarzenegger has not decided whether to cancel or delay Cooper’s Feb. 10 execution.
Press secretary Margita Thompson noted that Schwarzenegger generally favors capital punishment. No hearing will be held because
“the petition does not present factual questions that require an investigation or a hearing,” she said. Cooper’s attorneys say key evidence in the case was not properly tested and could exonerate their client. “It’s unfortunate the governor won’t give us an extra period of time to present him the additional information,” said Lanny Davis, a former Clinton administration special counsel who is assisting Cooper’s defense. Among those urging a reprieve are actors Denzel Washington, Sean Penn, and Richard Dreyfuss.