On Friday, May 28, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to launch an independent investigation into Kevin Cooper’s (Cooper) case, as part of Cooper’s application for clemency. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office has issued a response to Governor Newsom's executive order that disagrees with the decision.
“It is disappointing that Governor Newsom decided to reopen a nearly four-decade-old wound in Chino Hills,” said Chino Hills Mayor Brian Johsz. “The multiple murders of our residents in 1983 still stands as the single largest criminal loss of life in our City. To this day, that sad day reverberates throughout Chino Hills.”
“I join with District Attorney Jason Anderson and the many residents who are upset with this decision by the Governor. We are a nation of laws where the accused must be proven to have committed their crime,” said Mayor Johsz. “This case has been heard by a jury and judge, the State of California Supreme Court, and multiple appeals courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, all of them upholding the verdict. Announcing this reexamination and trying to hide it on the Friday before the Memorial Day three-day weekend is disappointing. Douglas, Peggy and Jessica Ryen and Christopher Hughes deserve justice.”
For more information and to view the response from the District Attorney's Office, click here. In March of 2021, District Attorney Jason Anderson sent a letter to Governor Newsom regarding this case, which can be read here. To read the full news release from Governor Newsom’s office announcing this investigation, click here. The executive order can be read here.