Logourl black
From our private database of 14,000+ case briefs...

Clark v. Arizona

United States Supreme Court
126 S.Ct. 2709 (2006)


Facts

After Clark (defendant) shot and killed a police officer who had pulled him over for a traffic stop, he was charged with first-degree murder for “intentionally and knowingly” killing the officer in the line of duty. At a bench trial, Clark pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and thereafter sought to introduce evidence by lay and expert witnesses of his undisputed mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia, to show that he did not intend to shoot the officer and did not know what he was doing. The trial judge ruled that Clark’s evidence of mental disease could not be considered on the issue of mens rea, but allowed it to be introduced on the issue of insanity. Clark’s insanity defense was rejected by the trial judge who determined that Clark’s schizophrenia did not prevent him from knowing that his actions were wrong, a required element for an insanity defense. The trial judge found Clark guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Clark appealed and the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment. The state supreme court denied review and the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether Arizona violated Due Process in barring consideration of defense evidence of mental illness on the issue of the mental element of the crime.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Dissent (Kennedy, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 199,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.