Friday, April 20, 2012

Thousands petition Perry for Kerry Max Cook pardon

More than 32,000 people have signed an online petition urging Governor Rick Perry and the Board of Pardons and Paroles to pardon Kerry Max Cook, who was falsely convicted of murder in Tyler, was cleared by DNA after 20 years on death row, but has never been formally exonerated. From the petition:
The case against me was based entirely on circumstantial evidence. Over the years, every piece of evidence used to convict me was revealed to be bogus.The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the prosecution had suppressed evidence that showed I was innocent in order to build their case against me.

Thirteen years after my innocence was proven and I was released from prison, the state of Texas still has not judicially exonerated me.

I was tried for this murder nearly four times. Despite an Appellate ruling throwing out my second conviction with findings that “Police and prosecutorial misconduct has tainted this entire matter from the outset,” the Smith County District Attorney’s Office was more interested in saving face than justice.

Unwilling to drop the charges against me, on the eve of my fourth trial, prosecutors offered a plea-bargain: plead no-contest with no admission of guilt, and go free. By this time my only brother had been murdered, my Dad had died of cancer, and my mother had abandoned me. Additionally, I  was unable to overcome the police and prosecutorial misconduct that prevented me from being found not guilty. I took the offer and walked out of the courtroom. But I have never been free.

Two months later, DNA evidence proved my innocence.

Because I pleaded no-contest to the murder, I cannot be declared actually innocent unless the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends to Governor Rick Perry that I be pardoned and Texas Governor Rick Perry agrees and sets me free.

Without being exonerated, I feel I am still in a Texas prison.

Please sign my petition and ask the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend to Texas Governor Rick Perry that I be pardoned and finally set free from my mental prison sentence now in its 35th year.
Go here to see the full petition and sign on.


ckikerintulia said...

I signed. Maybe more than once since I'm on Change.Org's e-list.

Don136 said...

No Way, he took the plea. He could have stayed and won maybe. Like everone else he took a plea bargin. So sorry

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Don't know if you realize it, Don, but in about a quarter of DNA exonerations defendants confessed or took a plea. Lots of precedent in the other direction on that.

Anonymous said...

Don136, standing in your shoes I'm sure its very easy to judge Cook's decision. But, try, if you can, to think about it from the shoes he was standing in. He had spent 20 years on death row being raped and suffering other abuse. His father and brother had died during that time. He spent most of his 20s and 30s on death row. He had been through 3 trials and each time the prosecution had committed egregious misconduct to convict him. Then, he's offered a choice; plead no contest in a deal that lets you maintain your innocence and go home with time served. Facing the prospect of going to trial again against prosecutors who have repeatedly demonstrated they will do anything to win, what would you do?

But, like I said, from your shoes it's easy to judge, isn't it?

Help FREE Bryce said...

This man must have a lot of inner strength and faith to continue on, to have gone through what he has had to endure. Being innocent and or not guilty, makes it all that much more a crime against him. I hear it's the norm, I know it is because I am trying to find help for my Minor Child in Texas Prison convicted of murder.
My blog has a petition also, this is happening in your community.

GalvestonLawyer said...

The guys convicted in the Austin yogurt shop murders confessed, too. Guess what? They were innocent. Google "State of Texas v. Michael James Scott".

Grandmom said...

I know Kerry. He's a great guy and father. He deserves a life. He can't get it without a pardon. SIGN THE PETITION.

Help FREE Bryce said...

I signed it, Wondering how to get my minor child petiton on here?

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until we un-elect this idiot Governor Perry. What an embarrassment to the citizens of Texas.

Anonymous said...

GodSpeed Kerry Max Cook.

Dear Anonymous,

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Mr. Cook, we were happy to sign the petition. Hopefully with Grits posting this piece you’ll obtain another 32K. Since a Full Pardon - for innocence is a prerequisite to receive rightfully owed compensation, I completely understand and support your endeavors.

But, from one (VOTS) victim of the system to another, I implore you to pray for the best and not place all of your hopes and dreams on the outcome. The goofballs in the Clemency Section are handpicked lackeys with orders to maintain the loopholes and hurdles. The most bazaar being for the Applicant to obtain the unanimous recommendations from the three original trial officials; (Sheriff, Prosecutor & Judge whom all have absolutely no incentives to admit roles in a conspiracy).

The appointed Board Members suffer from Texas sized power trips and systematically deny from the comfort & secrecy of their own homes. Sadly, Governor Perry has a dismal record of righting wrongs (See GFB Archives). A Pardon de-void of an apology isn't worth the paper it's written on and it alone will not free you from the mental prison. (I’ve been living with ‘it’ since 84 and rec. two denials since 99 & promise you that ‘it’ lasts forever due to being one of effects of an unjust cause). No amount of money or framed documents can cure PTSD. FWIW, the entire state of Texas knows you are not guilty; Pardon or no Pardon, the taxpayers and voters will forever be in your debt.

In addition to this petition campaign, consider requesting a Full Public Apology - based on innocence. The ‘Applicant’ (VOTS) simply presents proof of his /her innocence directly to the Governor’s Office via; Certified Mail, and Return Receipt services and request it (FPA) to accompany an official Full Pardon – for innocence presentation during a public press release format. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

The powerful establishment in Smith County will stop at nothing to conceal their corruption. Many of the players who executed this fiasco are still running the Smith County legal system: