Legal Analysis: People of Oceana v. Samantha Clark Essay

1442 Words Jan 24th, 2014 6 Pages
TO: Hon. Judge Colcort, Oceana Supreme Court
FROM: Kimberly Cromwell, Clerk to Hon. Judge Colcort, Oceana Supreme Court
RE: In the Matter of People of Oceana v. Samantha Clark
DATE: January 29, 2014
Background of Clark Case Samantha Clark, 45, in 1989, admittedly killed John Clark, after she discovered him in a homosexual act with Neil Brownfield, in plain view of the Clark's two minor children, aged seven and eight respectively. Mrs. Clark, an ordained minister in the Real Life Church of God, and Mr. Clark, an ardent believer, entered into a relationship that they both believed to be a marriage, in 1980. The marriage, according to the custom of the Church, was conducted by traveling to a mountain top and proclaiming that they
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The mitigating and aggravating facts that lead to a death penalty are generally those acts carried out during the commission of another crime, murders committed for financial gain, murders of police officers, multiple people, or other murders considered to be particularly aggravated. See People v. Green (1980) 27 Cal.3d 1, 55 [164 Cal. Rptr. 1, 609 P.2d 468] Pursuant to Calif. Code §§ 190.11 and 190.3(f)2 the Court was required to consider if Mrs. Clark acted for financial gain, or under moral justification. The facts demonstrate that Mrs. Clark acted out of a religious belief to protect her children from the homosexual acts of Mr. Clark (moral justification); the facts are incomplete as to whether there was any belief to a financial gain which would support a death sentence. The Court erred in that the sentence is not supported by evidence of any aggravating or mitigating circumstances to justify the death penalty. See People v. Lanphear, 608 P. 2d 689 (Cal: Supreme Court 1980) In 1978, in a Study for the State of Oceana, Oceana Testimony and Presentation of Costs of the Death Penalty, ("Oceana Study"), it was determined that capital punishment is far more expensive than incarcerating prisoners for life; the Oceana Study study found the additional death row imprisonment at $63.3 million annually. In this matter, the Court erred in determining only the cost of incarcerating Mrs. Clark and not the costs of executing

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