Louisiana v. ClarkAnnotate this Case
Defendant Jeffrey Clark and a number of fellow inmates incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana (“Angola”) conspired to escape from prison. In furtherance of that plot, on the evening of December 28, 1999, they smuggled improvised weapons into the Angola education building, where various scheduled meetings and classes were taking place. There, they launched an attack on the prison guards present, hoping to obtain keys necessary to gain access to a nearby vehicle and to exit a secure access sally port to leave the prison and escape to Canada. The escape attempt was thwarted when prison officials discovered the disturbance and quickly surrounded the education building. Captain David Knapps, who had been taken hostage by the inmates, was bludgeoned and stabbed to death. Each inmate involved was tried separately, and Clark was convicted of the first degree murder of Captain Knapps and sentenced to death. On automatic appeal to the Supreme Court, defendant raised thirty-seven assignments of error, contending his conviction and sentence should be reversed. After a thorough review of the law and evidence, the Court found no merit in any of the assignments of error. Therefore, the Court affirmed defendant’s conviction and sentence.