By KEVIN COOPER
Since 1983, when I was first arrested and charged with the murders which landed me on death row, the county, state, and federal governments of the state of California have spent over 10 million dollars to have me executed.
A lot is spent on every person on death row. Some cases require the government to spend less money, while more high-profile cases such as mine require the government to spend more.
Winning a case in the criminal justice system most often depends on who has and spends the most money. This is why the overwhelming majority of people who are imprisoned on death row in this country are poor. They cannot raise in any way, shape, or form the money that it takes to “win.”
It works the same way in war. Our military spends thousands of dollars on each of its bombs, and millions on its “smart bombs.” These bombs, no matter what their costs, are dropped on poor people. These people have no way of defending themselves against the rich bombs of the U.S. government, or the entire military campaign used to kill them.
I cannot imagine the government of this country spending this amount of money to keep people alive, whether in these United States or anywhere else in the world. The food drops do not cost as much as the war of destruction that is being waged on poor people.
So some very real questions must be asked. Why does this government spend so much money on death instead of life? Why does this government send the message to poor people that we are worth more dead than alive?
What is it about these politicians who make the laws, pass the bills, and spend the money that makes the majority of them look at us poor people as expendable?
Those who hold power in this land say that they are moral people, righteous people, God-loving people and all the rest. They make themselves seem better than everyone else. Yet the things that they do are immoral, unrighteous, and against everything that God represents.
God stands for love, peace, forgiveness, understanding, healing, and spirituality, and all things positive. The actions of this government are based on hate, war, revenge, pain and suffering, and yes, religion and all things negative-which are not of any God that we know if, but are of man in his most animalistic nature.
I am not asking for anyone to agree with what I write. I only ask that you try to understand.
If you do, then you will honestly see that we poor people, we people of color, we people who are imprisoned and on death row, are worth more dead than alive to the government of the United States of America.
Kevin Cooper, who is on death row in California’s San Quentin prison, is currently awaiting the results of DNA tests, which could prove his innocence.