Joseph Lewis Clark

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For other people named Joseph Clark, see Joseph Clark (disambiguation).
Joseph Lewis Clark
Joseph Clark.jpg
Mug shot of Joseph Lewis Clark.
Born (1949-01-15)January 15, 1949
Ohio, U.S.
Died May 2, 2006(2006-05-02) (aged 57)
Lucasville, Ohio, U.S.
Criminal penalty Death sentence
Criminal status Deceased
Conviction(s) Aggravated murder

Joseph Lewis Clark, (15 January 1949 – May 2, 2006), was executed by the State of Ohio. He was the 21st person executed by Ohio since the state resumed executions in 1999. Clark was sentenced to die on November 28, 1984 for the murder of 22-year-old David Manning during a gas station hold-up in Toledo, though he also confessed to the separate murder of a convenience store employee.[1]

Details of Clark's crime[edit]

When Clark entered a Toledo gas station at approximately 9:00 p.m. on January 13, 1984, he had his .32 caliber revolver drawn. He demanded money and the attendant, David A. Manning, handed him the money out of the cash register. After receiving the money, Clark claimed that this was not all of the money Manning had. Manning then proceeded to give him an envelope and it was at this point that Clark shot him. Sixty dollars was stolen by Clark in the hold-up.

On January 16, 1984, Clark was arrested after allegedly committing an assault and robbery at an Ohio bank. The arresting officer found a .32 caliber revolver in Clark's coat pocket. The next day, Clark, aware that he was a suspect in the Manning murder, tried to hang himself in his jail cell. On January 23, 1984, he was released from the hospital and taken to the Toledo Police Detective Bureau where he was read his Miranda rights and subsequently confessed to the murder of Manning after his Miranda rights were again recited to him.

Following Clark's indictment for Manning's murder, Clark challenged the voluntariness of his statement to the police, and an evidentiary hearing was held on the issue. At the suppression hearing, a psychiatrist testified on behalf of Clark. Although the psychiatrist had not examined Clark, he had reviewed the medical records from the hospitalization following Clark's suicide attempt, as well as Clark's juvenile records, various police documents, and the court's diagnostic and treatment reports. Based on a review of these records, he noted that Clark's mental function would be considered "borderline defective" based on his reported I.Q. of 75. He also concluded that Clark suffered from acute brain damage and chronic impairment of his mental functioning at the time of his confession (apparently as a result of Clark's recent suicide attempt). The psychiatrist testified that Clark's impaired mental condition would have interfered with his ability to make choices in an informed and reasonable manner and would have rendered him more susceptible to pressure or duress from others.

The prosecution offered in response the testimony of the officers who interrogated Clark and the testimony of Clark's attending physician, who concluded that, from a medical-neurological standpoint, Clark was capable of making a decision on waiving his rights. Following the suppression hearing, the state trial court determined that Clark voluntarily and knowingly waived his right against self-incrimination. Clark's confession was subsequently introduced at trial.


The execution took nearly 90 minutes because prison officials had difficulty finding a vein. [2]