Legal Analysis: People of Oceana v. Samantha Clark

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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 were husband and wife. During the following nine years, the Clark's lived together as "husband and wife" and the relationship produced two minor children. A jury trial was held in which the jury considered both the guilt and innocence of Mrs. Clark; and the circumstances of the commission of the murder. Mr. Clark leaves an estate of $300,000. The social worker testified that presently it will cost the state $5,000 per year, per child and that it would be impossible to place the two children together in the same foster home. The estimated costs to the state would be $50,000 and $55,000 (10 years for the 8 year; 11 years for the 7 year old) to provide for the Clark Children. The Trial Court noted during the sentencing the costs to the state would be $15,000 to incarcerate Mrs. Clark, whose life expectancy would be 32 more years, or approximately $480,000 dollars.
Facts
1. The Clarks lived together as "husband and wife" according to the tenants of the Real Life Church of God. The Clarks, according to the tenants of the Church, did travel to a mountaintop and proclaim themselves to be husband and wife.
2. There was no certificate of marriage filed with the State of Oceana.
3. Samantha Clark was an ordained minister of

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