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Ariz. Law Limiting Insanity Plea Does Not Deny Due Process


Eric Michael Clark, a paranoid schizophrenic, was charged with murder after he shot and killed an Arizona police officer. At his trial, Clark tried to use expert testimony to prove that he was insane and that his illness prevented him from forming the intent to shoot an officer. The judge allowed the expert testimony only on his insanity claim. The court then decided Clark had not proved his insanity defense. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In Clark v. Arizona, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Arizona’s law that does not allow the defendant to argue his illness prevents him from forming criminal intent. The Court says Clark still received due process.