Friday, October 12, 2012

Clark v. Arizona case brief

Clark v. Arizona
548 U.S. 735 (2006)

Synopsis: Clark was charged with 1st degree murder for intentionally or knowingly killing a law enforcement officer in the line of duty. Now, it’s in USDC.

Facts:
-Clark was pulled over for blaring loud music in a residential block.
-The officer got out of the patrol car, and was shot.
-He ran, and police found him with gun residue power on his hands later that day.

Issues:
(1) Whether due process prohibits Arizona’s use of an insanity test stated solely in terms of the capacity to tell whether an act charged as a crime was right or wrong

(2) Whether Arizona violates due process in restricting consideration of defense evidence of mental illness and incapacity bearing on a claim of insanity, thus eliminating its significance directly on the issue of the mental element of the crime charged.

Holding: Arizona’s rule serves to preserve the State’s chosen standard for recognizing insanity as a defense and to avoid confusion and misunderstanding on the part of the jurors.
-For these reasons, there is no violation of due process, and no cause to claim that channeling evidence on mental disease and capacity offends any principle of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental.
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